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David Remfry RA, Dancers

Dancers, 1989

David Remfry RA (b. 1942)

RA Collection: Art

In 1979 David Remfry fell ill with sarcoidosis, a condition affecting the respiratory system which left the artist ‘virtually unable to move’. Unable to make oil paintings, he was, however, able to work in watercolour. That same year a Los Angeles gallery offered him his first solo exhibition in the US—Remfry sent an exhibition of watercolours, all of which were sold.

Remfry continued to make watercolours, often (as in the case of this work) of a substantial size. This watercolour is one of a large series of works depicting dancers started in 1985, which was the subject of a large exhibition at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida, in 2002 (the exhibition toured to England in 2005). This work was included in the exhibition.

Remfry had been found inspiration in music and dancers since the 1960s, but only gradually moved to making more elaborate paintings of dancers, based on sketches made while observing dancers in his studio. At the same time Remfry has developed from painting occasional watercolours of dancers practicing at ballet school to the untrained and joyous ‘ordinary’ people seen in works such as this.

Object details

David Remfry RA (b. 1942)
Object type
Copyright owner
Watercolour on paper

118 mm x 688 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Diploma Work given by David Remfry RA accepted 5 October 2006
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