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David Remfry: We Think the World of You

[ Exhibition )

Drawing of a man reclining on a sofa with a light brown dog lying on his lap. A colourful rug with geometric shapes lies under the chair.

David Remfry, Allan Cumming and Honey, 2006, graphite, Pallant House Gallery 2015

A selection of drawings of people with their dogs by British artist David Remfry RA (b.1942).

Featuring well-known faces such as Alan Cumming, Susan Sarandon, Ethan Hawke and philanthropist Agnes Gund, the series explores the close bond between people and their canine companions.

Remfry’s series started 10 years ago in New York he was a resident of the infamous Chelsea Hotel, and began to explore the relationship between friends and their dogs through evocative pencil and watercolour portraits.

The artist is best known for his life-sized watercolours of urban scenes and night clubs, but has long had a fascination with the relationship that develops between dogs and their owners. The evocative large-scale pencil and watercolour portraits that resulted from this interest, capture the mutual understanding and companionship between owner and pet. The drawings have been created from a series of sittings that were undertaken over a number of years in New York and London. The exhibition featured a group of the best and most striking of these drawings and preliminary sketches. These included: Alan Cumming and his rescue dog Honey; costume designer Nikki Nichols and Wallis, Duchess of Pugs; hairdresser Geoffrey Firth and his Italian Greyhound Rocco; and sculptor Laura Kaplan and her dachshund Oscar.

Originally hailing from Worthing, West Sussex, Remfry is a long-term resident of the Chelsea Hotel – known for its appeal to creatives and celebrities since it opened in the late 19th century. After studying at Hull College of Art, he had his first solo show in London in 1973 and more than 50 international solo exhibitions have followed. He was elected a Royal Academician in 2006 and divides his time between New York and his studio in Kensington, London.

What the press said

If only the walls of David Remfry’s studio could talk

Marcus Field, London Evening Standard

Want to know more?

If you’re conducting research into this artist or another aspect of Modern British art and would like to use our library and archive, please contact Sarah Norris, Collections Manager on s.norris@pallant.org.uk.

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