Preview: The Art Of Miles Davis

An exhibition of Miles Davis's drawings and paintings, to be held at the Royal Albert Hall during June, may be the last chance for the public to view the art of the legendary trumpeter

An exhibition titled The Art Of Miles Davis will take place from 10 June to 1 July in the Ground Floor Corridor of the Royal Albert Hall. It will feature 56 of the trumpeter's artworks: drawings and paintings such as Shapeshifter (pictured), which will be available for sale as well as for viewing. There will also be an accompanying concert, Rebop: The Music Of Miles Davis featuring a sextet led by pianist and MC Chris Ingham, on Thursday 4 June at 9.45pm in the Elgar Room.

Davis turned to the visual arts in the 80s, when health problems affected his ability to tour and perform. His work found favour with art critics and collectors: Andy Clarke of exhibition organisers Balmain Fine Art describes Davis's style as being influenced by African themes and bright colours, filled with "a great deal of rhythm and music". He quotes one critic as saying "If we had never heard of him as a trumpeter, we would have heard of him as a painter."

Davis's artworks have been bought by collectors including Sting, Phil Collins, Diana Ross and Quincy Jones. The 56 paintings and drawings in this exhibition are, according to Clarke, almost all of the works that are still available on the open market. Art-loving jazz fans who might wish to buy one of Davis's works can expect to pay between £1,500 to £4,850 for a drawing, from £9,500 to £30,000 for a painting. Clarke expects most of the works to sell, hence this is likely to be the final public exhibition of Davis's art for the foreseeable future.

The Art Of Miles Davis can be viewed when attending performances at the Royal Albert Hall. There will also be three Open Days, with free admission to the exhibition, on Sunday 14 June, Sunday 21 June and Saturday 27 June, from 10.00am-4.00pm each day.

Further details about The Art Of Miles Davis and Rebop: The Music Of Miles Davis can be obtained from the Royal Albert Hall website or by calling 020 7589 8212.

Bruce Lindsay

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