David Surmanmakes work that peers into the non-human world. By rethinking the importance of art history to our anthropocentric worldview, Surman questions the role of animals in life and art. Through painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and film, Surman takes animal bodies as his subject and considers the projection of human experience onto the natural world. With a wide-ranging set of influences at play, from the brushwork of the zen Buddhist painters and post-war expressionism to the action painters and Gutai, Surman practices a distinct painterly economy, creating works by minimal means that can be understood by everyone. The works build upon complex narratives about our connection, conduct and place in the living world. They alert us to our oversights, to our mistakes and restrictions and encourage a new way forward. They inspire a life that is lived with a heightened sense of enthusiasm, love and responsibility for the non-human world on our radically changing planet.
David Surman (b, 1981, Barnstaple, UK) lives and works in London, UK.