There is still time to visit Pallant House Gallery to enjoy the drawings by David Remfry RA at the exhibition which closes on 13 December 2015. The paintings include studies of people and their dogs including Alan Cumming and other New Yorkers. The exhibition accompanies the publication of a new book by the Royal Academy entitled 'We Think the World of You: Drawings of People and Dogs'
David Remfry (born 1942) 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. He began to explore these relationships about ten years ago by sketching his friends and their dogs, including celebrities such as Alan Cumming, Susan Sarandon and Ethan Hawke as well as other residents at New York’s infamous Chelsea Hotel.
Remfry’s evocative large-scale pencil and watercolour portraits capture the mutual understanding of the companionable relationship between owner and pet. The drawings have been created from a series of sittings often undertaken over a number of years in New York and London. The exhibition will feature a group of the best of these drawings and preliminary sketches.
Amongst the sitters are a number of residents of the Chelsea Hotel, as well as other partnerships he has witnessed in New York and London. These include: 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.
The historic Chelsea Hotel was built between 1883-1885 and has been the home of an extraordinary number of artists, writers and musicians, including Frida Kahlo, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg and Claes Oldenburg. It was also where the poet Dylan Thomas was staying when he died of pneumonia in 1953 and where Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols, was found dead in 1978.
Originally hailing from Worthing, West Sussex, Remfry is now a long-term resident of the Chelsea Hotel. After studying at Hull College of Art, he had his first solo show in London in 1973; more than 50 international solo exhibitions have followed. He was elected a Royal Academician in 2006 and divides his time between New York and London.
The exhibition will be held in the De’Longhi Print Room at Pallant House Gallery and is free to enter.
‘We Think the World of You: People and Dogs Drawn Together’ by David Remfry is published by Royal Academy of Arts, 19 October 2015
Price: £16.95, hardback.