As He Bowed His Head To Drink

On the 17th of November, London-based The Redfern Gallery opened the third solo exhibition by one of our favorite contemporary British painters, Danny Fox. The new work of the self-taught St. Ives-born and London-based artist has moved on to become less calligraphic, more solid, but maintaining his signature fluidity. The inspiration for Danny’s paintings continues to have strong roots in the heritage of the European Masters, where the subject matter still is the artist’s unique non-sentimental vision of cowboys, indians, strippers, cavalryman and those (like himself) who like to drink more than they should. The color palette is as punchy as before, applied more solid compared to his older eclectic works, still grabbing one’s gaze by the horns and sucking it into the little narratives they portray. With Danny’s star rising in the art world, part of the new works were created through new friends like painter Patrick Heron, who invited him to stay in his old St. Ives studio and a period in Los Angeles, in which he always maintained his fast paced production of some of the most exciting work being created today.

Los Angeles-based artist Wes Lang on the work of Danny Fox:

Danny Fox creates pieces that excite me. They have granted me a chance to be moved by painting again, which is a rarified occurrence these days. […] This is art that needs to be seen, needs to be discussed, shit on, lifted up, liked, hated and everywhere else in between.

Employing his strong, almost familiar, recurring motifs of horsemen, whores and wanderers give his paintings way to the implied narrative of each canvas. The artist paints as it comes and there seems to be no limitation on what he needs to express. He works without preparatory studies, as exploratory mappings, or tentative forays, no tediously expounded and consciously informed developments. The paintings of Danny Fox come directly from a place where they were waiting to be unleashed from.

The art of the Cornwall area, where the roots of the artist lay in St. Ives, with famous names like Stanhope Forbes and Alfred Wallis may only have subconsciously informed Danny’s art – despite having studied and mentioned the work of Wallis to have been a pinnacle influence to pick up painting – yet his recent contact with influential contemporary American painters like Wes Lang, Henry Taylor, and Torey Thornton seem to have matured his attitude and outlook as a painter, making this outsider in the art world one of the fastest rising stars of today.

The horsemen Danny Fox portrays are perhaps roaming as outcasts in a bygone painterly world. Yet, Danny’s naturally provocative sensibility prevents him from appearing anachronistic. […] Despite there being no rules in art, Danny noticeably pitches himself on the periphery of an insider’s game. This paradoxical position of knowing ingenuousness, plus his self-reliant instincts make him more ‘outlaw’ than ‘outsider’.

All images courtesy of The Redfern Gallery and Danny Fox.

Make sure to catch ‘As He Bowed His Head To Drink’ before it closes on the 5th of December at The Redfern Gallery, located on 20 Cork Street, London.

For more information see here