David Boyd Australian, 1924-2011


David Boyd is a figurative painter, ceramic sculptor and potter. David Boyd's art stems from a long family tradition of artistic talent.


David Boyd started his career as a well-known and talented potter before turning his attention to painting in 1957. His first work was a symbolic protrayal of Australian explorers.


Since then, he is kept to this theme and has produced several major series of works including his powerful Trial series, The Tasmanian Aboriginies & The Wanderer & Exiles series. His work contains juxtapositions of innocence and evil as well as representing Australian history with universal themes that many can relate to.


David Boyd is represented in the Australian National Gallery, Canberra; all State and many regional galleries; the Mertz collection, USA; the Power collection, Sydney; and many major international galleries and private collections in Australia and overseas.


1924 David Boyd was born in Murrumbeena, Melbourne. Third and youngest son of artists Merric and Doris Boyd. Studied pottery and painting within the family circle and also the piano. Entered the Melba Memorial Conservatorium of Music at 17

1942 Joined Contemporary Art Society of Australia. Conscripted into Australian Army

1944–46 Studied at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and the National Gallery School on an ex-serviceman's grant. First exhibition of paintings with John Yule at the Rowden White Library, University of Melbourne In partnership with brother Guy Boyd founded Martin Boyd pottery in Sydney

1947 Painting expedition in New Caledonia with author Hugh Atkinson

1948–49 Married Hermia Lloyd-Jones, younger daughter of graphic artist Herman (Jonah) and Erica Lloyd-Jones. Began pottery career with Hermia First exhibition of pottery in Sydney

1950–55 Established pottery studios in London and in the South of France, joined for a time by ceramist and painter Stanislaw Halpern. Travelled widely throughout Spain. Returned to Australia

1956 David and Hermia Boyd became widely known as leading Australian potters. Introduced new techniques in glazing and the use of the potters wheel in shaping sculptural figures. Greatly influenced local potters, in particular Tom Sanders and John Perceval. Major exhibition of ceramic tiles and sculptures at the Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne

1957–58 Commenced painting the Explorer series, exhibited at the Australian Galleries, Melbourne, and Clune Galleries, Sydney

1959 Started a series of paintings based upon the extinction of the full-blood Tasmanian Aboriginal in the nineteenth century. Took part in issuing the Antipodean Manifesto with Blackman, Arthur Boyd, Brack, Dickerson, Perceval, Pugh and B. Smith, defending the figurative image in contemporary painting in a joint exhibition in Melbourne. Exhibited Explorers and Tasmanians in Adelaide

 1960 Commenced a series of paintings on the theme of Law and Justice, the Trial series. Elected President of the Contemporary Art Society (Victorian branch), Councillor of the Museum of Modern Art of Australia

1961 First prize Italian Art Scholarship for Australia. Chairman of the Federal Council of the Contemporary Art Society of Australia

1962 Lived in Rome, continuing the Trial series, before returning to England. Settled in London

1963 First one-man exhibitions in London and Paris of the Trial paintings 1964 Revisited Spain and painted Church and State series based upon this visit

1965 One-man exhibitions in London and in Australia of Church and State

1966 Discovered method of using candle flame to create images and named the technique Sfumato, a word used by Leonardo da Vinci to describe graduations of a misty tone in painting (although there is no evidence that Leonardo used a candle flame to achieve this effect)

1967–69 Exhibited Sfumato paintings in London and in Australia, including Newcastle, NSW. Revisited Australia. Exhibited late Sfumato and Limbo paintings in Adelaide, SA. War Games in Sydney, NSW. Visited Boyd Town at Twofold Bay, south coast of NSW Commenced a series of paintings, Wanderer, inspired by the life of Benjamin Boyd, an Australian adventurer of the 1840s Retrospective exhibition of loaned works from various collections in Australia and Britain at Commonwealth Institute Art Gallery, London, Edinburgh and Sheffield

1970 Settled in south of France. First exhibition of Wanderer series at Adelaide Festival of Arts, South Australia. Next at Von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle, NSW

1971 Exhibited Wanderer series in separate sections in three concurrent London exhibitions. Started a series based on mythological Orchard of Heaven, first exhibitied in Brisbane, Qld. Visited Australia Bay Village, 28 – 34 Cross Street Double Bay NSW 2028 t: 02 9327 2475 www.franceskeevilgallery.com.au DAVID BOYD / FRANCES KEEVIL GALLERY Bay Village, 28 – 34 Cross Street Double Bay NSW 2028 t: 02 9327 2475 www.franceskeevilgallery.com.au

1972 Developed theme of the Orchard and exhibited series entitled Garden in the Wilderness in Newcastle, NSW Returned to France. Commenced the Exiles series. Developed the theme Exiles

1973 Exhibited Exiles series in London and in Melbourne, Vic

1974 Retrospective exhibition at Skinner Galleries, Perth, Festival of Arts

1975 Returned to Australia. Retrospective exhibition at Von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle, NSW 1976 Retrospective exhibition at Bonython Gallery, Sydney

1977 Commenced series Private View

1978 Developed theme of Private View

1979–82 Major retrospective exhibition, Albert Hall, Canberra. Painted a series of works entitled Day of the Picnic 1983 Retrospective Exhibition

1957-82, a series of seven exhibitions, Wagner Art Gallery, Sydney

1985 Exhibition Four Seasons, Wagner Art Gallery, Sydney

1986 Exhibited A Judge in the Landscape series, Hong Kong; Wagner Art Gallery, Sydney; Von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle

1987 Exhibition Requiem for the Birth of a Nation, Wagner Art Gallery, Sydney

1988 Exhibition Antipodean Second Chapter, Lauraine Diggins Fine Arts, Melbourne; Lanyon Gallery, Canberra

1989 S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, Antipodean Second Chapter

1990 Dedicated to Merric and Doris Boyd, Wagner Art Gallery, Sydney

1991–92 Clown in the Tree series

1992 Survey retrospective exhibitions Wagner Gallery, Sydney; Caulfield Art Complex, Melbourne; Macquarie University, Sydney; Beaver Galleries, Canberra

1993–94 Metaphors of Trial series, Von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle

1995 The Legend of Europa and the Cockatoos, Eva Breuer Art Dealer, Sydney

1996 Europa in Australia, Von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle

1996–97 Driftwood and the Hierarchy series, Von Bertouch Galleries; Wagner Gallery, Sydney

1998 Music and the Angels, Galeria Aniela, Kangaroo Valley

1999 Survey retrospective, Von Bertouch Galleries, Newcastle

2001 Reconciliation, Eva Breuer Art Dealer, Sydney, NSW


1960 President of the Contemporary Art Society (Victorian branch) 1960 Elected Councillor of the Museum of Modern Art of Australia

1961 First Prize Italian Art Scholarship for Australian Chairman of the Federal Council of the Contemporary Art Society of Australia.

1993–96 Artist-in-residence School of Law, Macquarie University, NSW

1998 MEMBRO ALBO DORO DEL SENATO ACCADEMICO - International Academy of Modern Art, Rome, Italy

2008 Awarded an OAM for his services to art as a painter and innovator of design and techniques in pottery and ceramic sculpture


Australian War Memorial, Canberra

Queensland University, Brisbane

Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

Ballarat Art Gallery, Ballarat, Vic

Sydney University (Law Faculty), Sydney

Harold Mertz Collection of Australian Paintings, USA

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

Lincolnshire and South Humberside Arts, Usher Gallery, Lincoln, England

Fine Arts Department, University of Melbourne

 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Adelaide Art Teachers College, Adelaide, SA

 Monash University, Melbourne

Law School, University of Melbourne Bay Village, 28 – 34 Cross Street Double Bay NSW 2028 t: 02 9327 2475 www.franceskeevilgallery.com.au

Newcastle Regional Art Gallery

University of New South Wales, Sydney

Sydney University Power Collection

Bendigo Art Gallery

Graylands College, Perth, Western Australia

National Gallery of Victoria

The University of Adelaide, South Australia Macquarie University, Sydney, New South Wales Bundanon Trust, Nowra, New South Wales

Macquarie University, New South Wales


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney


National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Art Gallery Of Western Australia, Perth


Department of External Affairs, Canberra

Museum of Applied Arts and Science, Sydney

The Power House; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth

Staffordshire Museum, Stoke-on-Trent

Museum of Modern Art of Australia, Melbourne

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

University of Western Australia, Perth

University of Queensland, Brisbane