Artist biography

English sculptor. After studying at Exeter College of Art and Design (1981–4), Davey took a Diploma at Goldsmiths College in 1985; his first solo exhibition followed at the Lisson Gallery, London, in 1987. Influenced by the sculpture of Tony Cragg and Richard Deacon in the early 1980s, Davey explored the formal character of the objecthood of sculpture often with a brisk humour. Gold (Table) (1991; see 1992 exh. cat.) marks a development towards larger work that addresses itself more directly to the viewer, in this case through its anthropomorphic size. Its title suggests a prosaic use, but its large size (with the top at head-height) again denies functionality, insisting instead on its identity as an object for pure aesthetic delectation. 1/3 Eye (1991; see 1992 exh. cat.), a huge disk reminiscent of a camera's lens, is characteristic both of Davey's continued interest in circular motifs and in finding bold and comical ways to address the viewer. With debts both to Minimalism and Pop art, Davey's work has consistently been concerned with formal issues central to the development of modern sculpture, including gravity, monumentality, and the differences between representational and sculptural form. In 1992 Davey won the Turner Prize for his exhibition of that year at the Chisenhale Gallery, London.

Bibliography
Grenville Davey (exh. cat., essay M. Allthorpe-Guyton, London, Lisson Gal., 1989)
Grenville Davey (exh. cat., essay M. Archer, London, Chisenhale Gal., 1992)
Grenville Davey (exh. cat., essays U. Loock and S. Morgan, Berne, Ksthalle; Düsseldorf, Kstver.; 1992)

MORGAN FALCONER
10 December 2000

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