Charles Avery

Untitled (2002)

About this artwork

Charles Avery creates his drawings of enigmatic groups of figures by starting from one area of the body, often a nose, and working outwards from there until a character is created. Each subsequent figure is created in reaction to the previous one until a narrative begins to emerge. Avery puts most detail into the faces and hands of his figures, as he views these as vital for expression. The left-hand edge of this drawing reveals that it has been neatly removed from a spiral-bound pad. However, this is not a preparatory sketch for a painting, as Avery views drawing as important in its own right and uses it as a way to encourage the viewer to interact. He explains, 'Drawing puts much more trust in the viewer. Drawing is a form of writing, it’s a telling medium and people get involved in it.'

  • title: Untitled
  • accession number: GMA 4673
  • artist: Charles AveryScottish (born 1973)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • date created: 2002
  • measurements: 41.90 x 59.20 cm (framed 54.00 x 71.50 x 3.20 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased (Knapping Fund) 2003
  • copyright: © Charles Avery. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2016
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Charles Avery

Charles Avery

Charles Avery views his work as being divided into two areas; atomic and mystic. His ‘atomic’ works are abstract and geometrical and his ‘mystic’ works consist of figurative pencil drawings. Avery prefers to exhibit them together in order to explore questions raised in metaphysics, mathematics and philosophy. He is particularly interested in the work of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, from whom he took the idea of an atomic and mystic approach to art. Avery’s drawings are made entirely from his imagination, and although they appear to be part of a larger, unknown narrative, they are completely improvised. Born in Oban, Avery studied a foundation course at Chelsea College of Art in London, but he is largely self-taught as an artist. In 2008 The Islanders: An Introduction opened at Parasol Unit, London, before touring to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. In 2007 Avery participated in Scotland + Venice at the 52nd Venice Biennale. He lives and works in London.