Artist Profile: David Boyd

by Roselea Fitzpatrick, Mar 07, 2019

  Day in the Life of a Butterfly
  Child Clown Offering a Snail to a Judge
  When Tall Ships Sail Old        Lags Dream of China
  The Prisoner - Doris and the    Raven
  Reconciliation III
  The Wanderer

David BOYD (b.1924; d.2011)


David Boyd was born the third and youngest son of artistsMerric and Doris Boyd in Melbourne in 1924 and studied pottery andpainting within the extended artistic Boyd family. Brothers, Arthur andGuy, are also internationally renowned as artists. Keeping with the theme, in1948 he married Hermia Lloyd-Jones, the daughter of graphic artist Herman andErica Lloyd-Jones. Following the tradition of their family, their threedaughters are also artists. The family has certainly earned its reputation asan artistic dynasty!


Although initially acclaimed as a potter, Boyd began hiscareer as a painter in 1957 with a series of paintings focusing on the tragichistory of the Aboriginal Tasmanians being deprived of their homeland, andon Australian explorers, Burke and Wills, Bass and Flinders. Hefollowed these later with series exploring the darkness of the legal system andreligion. These were not popular concepts at the time and provoked a storm ofcontroversy. 


But Boyd remained unmoved by the criticism and, over time,the tide of opinion turned, his works now being embraced by critics and publicalike. As an impassioned humanist, his paintings are full of social comment,showing that there is still a place in Australian art for a moral painter.Given the current popularity of his works it is clear that the sensibilities ofthe public has also shifted.


Several major series, including the Trial, the Tasmanian Aborigines, the Wanderer and the Exiles, demonstrate his highlydramatic style with the juxtaposition of innocence and evil. He once said: “Ioften think of myself as being a spiritual anarchist.” 


Boyd’s work isn’t all about darkness, though. He worked andtravelled in Europe and the UK, winning significant international recognition,and on his return in the 70s, produced some of his most delightful work,combining angels, music, mythical figures and children dancing through hisbeloved bush. He continued to travel, exhibit overseas and garner worldwideacclaim.


Painting mostly on board, Boyd’s works on canvas tendto be rare and high-quality works. He painted on canvas usually wheninitiating a new series of paintings and often kept the canvases both as areference to continue the series as well as for his retrospectiveexhibitions. Those original canvases were not often sold during his lifetime.


The works of David Boyd are represented in the AustralianNational Gallery, Canberra; all State and many regional galleries; the Mertzcollection, USA; the Power Collection, Sydney; and many major internationalgalleries and private collections in Australia and overseas. his works are themost highly traded paintings in the Australian art market.


We are thrilled that The Estate of David Boyd is availableexclusively on artmarketspace, many of the paintings never seen by the publicuntil now.


The works span most of his series and include a good numberof his rarer works on canvas. They are truly stunning, and some are so vibrantand rich you feel like you could just walk straight into them.


To view or purchase works by this Australian artisticlegend, head to The David Boyd Estate collection onartmarketspace now.