David Fairbairn

Born 1949, Zambia
Lives and works in Sydney

Artist's CV

Represented by nanda\hobbs

David Fairbairn has been at the forefront of contemporary drawing and mixed media practice for several decades. Born in Africa, he studied at the Royal Academy in London before moving to Australia in the 1980s.

Fairbairn's work has been based predominantly on a deeply personal and extensive investigation into portraiture—often monumental in scale and a hybrid of drawing, etching and painting. His erudite line and tone-based methodology brings a beautiful gothic quality to his vision that is unique to him.

Fairbairn’s career has been highlighted with the awarding of many significant art prizes including the Dobell Drawing Prize AGNSW in 1999, the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize in 2002, the Kedumba Drawing Award in 2009, the Mosman Art Prize in 2012, Jacaranda Purchase Prize in 2018, and the Muswellbrook Art Prize (Works on paper) in 2022. His ongoing inclusion as a finalist in the Archibald and Dobell prizes points to his continued relevance as one of this country's leading practitioners.

Fairbairn is included in the Australian National Gallery and the Art Gallery of New South Wales collections as well as numerous regional gallery and significant private collections. In recent years he has been creating and exhibiting in the regional gallery sector. A major solo exhibition—Drawn Together is on show at the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery until 18 September 2022.

\ Artworks

C.S. No.1

2007 \ Acrylic, gouache and pastel on paper on paper \ 76 x 56cm

D.B. No.10

2006 \ Acrylic, gouache, ink, pastel and chinagraph on paper \ 76 x 56cm

D.G. No. 25

2010 \ Acrylic, gouache, charcoal, pastel and chinagraph on paper \ 76 x 56cm

D.G. No.9

2010 \ Acrylic wash, monotype and charcoal on paper \ 76 x 56cm


G.E. No.10

2015 \ Acrylic, gouache, charcoal and pastel on paper \ 56 x 76cm


G.E. No.12

2015 \ Acrylic, gouache, ink and pastel on paper \ 60 x 76cm

J.L. No.2

2014 \ Acrylic, gouache, charcoal and etching on paper \ 76 x 56cm

Large Head C.S.No.2

2006 \ Acrylic, gouache, charcoal, pastel & ink on paper \ 183 x 201cm


Large Head J.B.No.1 with Blue Ground

2012 \ Acrylic, gouache, pastel, charcoal on paper \ 183 x 210cm


V.H. No.28

2013 \ Acrylic, gouache, charcoal, pastel and monograph on paper \ 76 x 56cm


V.H. No.40

2008 \ Acrylic and gouache on paper \ 76 x 56cm


W.L. No.19

2012 \ Acrylic, gouache, charcoal, pastel and chinagraph on paper \ 56 x 76cm

\ News

NH Event


13 December 2022

In this collection are available artworks from this year’s solo gallery program; some that were not released at the time—all great examples from our talented stable.

Read more

\ Exhibitions featuring David Fairbairn

Sydney Contemporary

Caroline Zilinsky, Nicholas Blowers, Leslie Rice & David Fairbairn

7 September — 11 September 2022

Contact Us

to find out more about David Fairbairn.

12 - 14 Meagher Street Chippendale, NSW 2008
Opening Hours
Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm Saturday, 11am - 4pm 2023 SUMMER DATES We will close on 23 December and reopen on Monday 16 January