David Abse

David Abse

Member since Friday 19th Jul, 2013

David Abse was born in London in December 1958. Despite being born in England, David never has felt that this defines his identity. His father (Dannie Abse) brainwashed him to support Cardiff City FC, and told his son that he was half Welsh, and half Jewish, and half English. David realised early on his father's mathematical shortcomings and was glad that his father had chosen a career as a poet rather than as a quantum physicist. David's mother (Joan Abse) was from Lancashire (St Helens) and her parents were English and Scottish. She moved to London as a young woman where she met David's dad, Dannie. After bringing up three kids, she became a renowned art historian. David's maternal grandfather (Jack Mercer) had a profound effect on David's life: He worked as a shop steward for years in the Pilkingtons' glassworks in St Helens, but after he retired he went to art school every day for 30 years. He died over 20 years ago, aged 99, still a communist, determined not to get a telegram from the queen.

Despite David's father's determination that David should get a "proper job", David went to Art school in Wolverhampton, and worked for many years in the voluntary sector in the UK - including several years as a union representative, and more years as CEO of Islington Voluntary Actiion Council (IVAC). After leaving IVAC in 2005 David set up a freelance consultancy business, Toosh, that would still be thriving if not for the bizarre decision of the UK populace to put the Tories in charge of ruining the country. Throughout these years David continued drawing and painting part time.

Six years ago David moved to France, and returned to painting, drawing and printmaking full time. Plus a bit of writing.: David writes occasionally for L'Artiste and has a regular column in The Hérault Times - and the Aude Times too. He also writes a fascinating blog.

David now lives with his family and cats and dog in a small house in the beautiful village of Bize-Minervois in the Aude. He still thinks of himself as half English, half Welsh, half Jewish and as a Londoner too. It is no surprise then that many of David's paintings focus on issues of identity. Amazingly, David's son Marley is a maths whizz.





1983: Tarmac Prize – Wolverhampton UK
1984: Ferens Art Gallery – Open - Hull UK
1984: Bradford Print Biennale - UK
1985: Kanagawa Print – Japan
1985: Leigh Gallery, Kings Cross, London (solo show)
1986: Open Print Exhibition, Krakow, Poland
2010: September: "New Paintings", Matelles-Art Gallery, France
2011: March: "Liquid Oxygen", Group Show, Icosahedron Gallery, New York, USA
2011: April: "Le Printemps en Folie", Le Soleil Bleu Galerie, Lodève, France
2011: May: "Animals", Art Nomade, Gignac, France
2011: May 21: Pic Saint Loup “Festa Trail”, St Mathieu, France
2011: June: "Boom", The Brick Lane Gallery, London, UK
2011: June/July: "Animaux", Matelles-Art Gallery, France
2011: October: Parallax Art Fair, London, UK
2012: June: "Fleurs", Matelles-Art Gallery, France
2012: July/August: "Celebration of Sport", Outside the White Cube, London, UK
2012: September: The Electric Cinema, Congleton, Cheshire, UK

Francis Kyle Gallery, London (1984-1990)


June/July 2011 edition of L’Artiste. See www.l-artistemagazine.com
June 2011: Artist of the month at LondonArt


David's work has appeared in numerous magazines, on posters and book covers. Publishers include Robson Books, Poetry Wales, the Jewish Chronicle, the Hérault Times, Hutchinson, the Thin Blue Line, Rapport, Lauderdale House, the Felix Gluck Press and others.

Also, David is the creator of Purple Cat .


David has written for numerous publications on a wide variety of subject matter. This includes a regular column for the Hérault Times, L'Artiste magazine, a regular column in The Thin Blue Line, several chapters in Voluntary But Not Amateur’ (4th Edition), Rapport, Third Sector, Voluntary Voice, Young People Now and others. David has also written a number of guides for voluntary organisations on employment, HR and other subjects. See http://www.toosh.biz . David also writes three regular blogs:
David Abse Art
Sector Three
Life is too short