David Abse

Artist Bio

David Abse is a contemporary painter and printmaker. His gallery features numerous styles and techniques. His work includes gestural, symbolistic abstracts created in mixed media, oil portraits and flower paintings, and works in ink and wash as well as watercolours and prints.


Abse was born in London in December 1958. He has lived in France however since 2007. His work has been exhibited in individual and group shows throughout the world (UK, France, USA, Poland, Japan) and his work featured in a number of magazines. In addition his illustrations have appeared in a wide range of publications - books, magazines, newspapers, greetings cards - and he has written for a number of magazines on a ranges of subjects, including art, politics, football and humour. His work illustrates his wide range of interests and obsessions. Abse suffers from a range of disabilities including Diabetes, Parsonage-Turner syndrome and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. His constant feelings of pain strongly influence his work.


Abse's abstract work mainly concentrates on issues of identity, and is colourful and expressive. Who are we? Who am I? Man? Artist? Parent? Son? Husband? Jew? Diabetic? How we define ourselves can depend on our roles with others, but on how we wish to define ourselves can vary from day to day, hour to hour, mood to mood.  Abse is also becoming obsessed with death as he gets older and increasingly disabled.

Contrarily, as a result of the Parsonage-Turner Syndrome he has suffered from since 2016, which causes severe shoulder pain, and limits arm and hand movement, Abse has increasingly been painting in oils, working on more academic exercises and also on portraits. His limited movement has made his large gestural abstracts harder to physically create, whilst a gentle approach using oil painting, and a realistic style has become therapeutic. His work has become focussed particularly on issues of politics and history, and he has produced portraits of historical political figures that interest him such as Simon Bolivar, Proudhon and Thomas Paine. Abse's website can be found at www.davidabse.com

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