Born in Melbourne in 1956, David Larwill was one of the group of young Melbourne artists who formed the Roar Studios there in the early 1980s. Larwill and the other Roar artists produced colourful and visually exhilarating figurative works inspired by the Cobra movement and Expressionism; painting 'from the heart' in a stylistic and social reaction against the prevailing interest in conceptualism.
Larwill's distinctive style evolved, influenced by movements as diverse as tribal art, aboriginal art, abstracted figuration of the 1940s and 1950s, outsider and children's art, graffiti, and the work of Dubuffet. Beneath a veneer of innocence, Larwill's paintings are controlled and sophisticated, characterised by their simplified forms and overall pattern, populated with stylised, animated and tribal-like human figures and animals.
Inspired by his travels in Central Australia and to Morocco, Europe and New York, Larwill brings a primal strength and energy to his painting. With his instinctive approach, his use of primitive forms, his frenetic compositions and his use of intense colour, his works have direct impact on an emotional and sensory level. In 2003, Larwill had his first London exhibition at England & Co.
Australian public collections
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Sir William Dobell Foundation
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne
New Parliament House, Canberra
Holmes à Court Collection
Baillieu Myer Collection
Heide Museum of Modern Art, Victoria
Shell Collection of Contemporary Australian Art
Western Mining Corporation Collection
World Congress Centre, Melbourne
Launceston College of Advanced Education, Tasmania
Shepparton Art Gallery, Victoria
Deakin University Collection, Victoria
Australian Football League
New England Regional Art Museum, Australia
Queensland Art Gallery