David L Carpanini was born in Glamorgan in 1946. He was trained at Gloucestershire College of Art and Design, Cheltenham, the Royal College of Art and the University of Reading. He was Professor of Art at the University of Wolverhampton from 1992 to 2000 and President of the Royal Society of Painter - Printmakers from 1995 to 2003. In 1969 he won the British Institutions Awards Committees Annual Scholarship for engraving and has since exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy and in numerous other major group and solo exhibitions in the UK and abroad. Click on 'Printmakers A - Z' (above) to view his collection of original prints.
His work has been the subject of three television documentaries and has been acquired by numerous prestigious collections including; the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea, Newport Museum and Art Gallery, Her Majesty the Queen, Windsor, National Museum of Wales, National Library of Wales, Contemporary Art Society of Wales, British Steel, Rank Xerox, British National Oil Corporation, National Coal Board, Government Art Collection DOE, Ashmolean Museum Oxford, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge as well as many University and College collections.
Whilst most of his work is devoted to the presentation of the valleys and former mining communities of South Wales he has also undertaken numerous portrait commissions. More recently he has begun to explore his Italian roots with a series of drawings and etchings of the towns and landscapes of northern and central Italy.
He is a painter and printmaker devoted to the plain complete statement which leaves little to chance and yet, if made with sufficient authority can distil poetry from those ordinary and everyday facts which can go almost unnoticed by most of us. Although solidly representational his pictures speak eloquently of abstracts - fear, isolation, and survival. They are set in Wales but the statements he makes are not confined to the Welsh valleys and the feelings they evoke are international. The titles of his works often have a strong poetic resonance and hint at more personal motivations underlying the characters depicted, and his own ideas of creativity and intent.
David Carpanini contributed to the 2004 Attic Gallery exhibition - Visions of the Valleys - which featured 10 artists and their response to living in or observing the South Wales industrial valleys. In March 2015, BBC Wales broadcast a TV programme, Visions of the Valleys, which followed the same theme.
David Carpanini was elected: RE 1982 (ARE 1979); RWA 1983 (ARWA 1977); RBA 1976; NEAC 1983; RCA 1992; Hon RWS 1996; Hon RBSA 2000.
Speaking of his work in 'Art Review' in June 1998, Carpanini said;
"My inspiration lies in the contemplation of the familiar. I believe that man has a special bond, a special relationship with that part of Earth which nourishes his boyhood and it is in the valleys and former mining communities of South Wales, scarred by industrialisation but home for a resolute people that I have found the trigger for my creative imagination. The stark landscape and close knit, often claustrophobic social infrastructure are a fundamental part of my own background and I have attempted to use the natural drama of this location to explore aspects of the human condition such as fear, isolation, loneliness, brutality, dignity, pride and hope.
All my paintings and prints are studio assemblages, unhurried distillations of sketchbook observations and visual memories. I have always made extensive use of small notebooks. These are working tools in which I make records of both a graphic and literary nature. These observations are not always put to immediate use; indeed months, even years may elapse before a particular theme is explored further. It is from this reservoir of materials that my pictures grow. The design and manner of any work arises as a natural process of growth and evolution; as an extension of object and purpose, not imposed in a preconceived way."