icWales - Miles Davis artworks get UK showMiles Davis artworks get UK show
Sep 20 2005
A new exhibition of artworks by jazz supremo Miles Davis is being unveiled to a UK audience for the first time today.
The exhibition will enjoy its British premiere and its only UK showing in Edinburgh, before heading to the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.
The Art of Miles Davis promises to reveal a different side to Davis’s genius - a man better known for his skill on the trumpet than his flare with a paintbrush.
Notably, the last painting completed by Davis before his death, entitled Gold Face, will be unveiled to the public for the first time today. It has, until now, languished in the home of one of the musician’s relatives.
A pioneer of the cool jazz era, Davis became a world-famous innovator and his work in albums such as Bitches Brew and Sketches of Spain influenced generations of musicians.
In 1980, after suffering a stroke, the musician began to focus his talent in a new direction and started seeking expression through visual art as well as music.
He began with primitive figures and then experimented in colour and composition.
Mostly self-taught, he became inspired by the Milan-based design movement known as Memphis, whose theme was based on hot colours and clashing shapes.
Art trustee Jonathan Poole, who also looks after the work of John Lennon and Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, said he was struck by the “vibrancy” and “total honesty” of Davis’s work.
He said: “Miles took his painting very seriously, since it was a manner in which he chose to bring the musical notes to life.
“There could not have been a more honest fusion and fruition of his innate talent.
“To him, painting was another way of playing music. For this reason alone, the exhibition is important for his jazz fans and for the general public to realise that an individual can express himself in more ways than one.
“The public can see his genius as a trumpet player transformed on to canvas.”
Some 48 artworks will go on show at The Dome restaurant and bar in Edinburgh’s George Street.
A private viewing will be held today and the free exhibition will open to the public from tomorrow until Saturday.
Original drawings have been priced from £2,000 to £5,000, while limited edition prints could fetch £450 to £1,000.
A selection of original paintings will also be on sale.
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