David Redfern was born in Staffordshire in 1947. He was awarded his first degree at Reading University from 1965 to 1969 followed by a post-graduate qualification from The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London.
In 1971 Redfern joined the staff at the newly opened Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens as a Gallery Assistant and worked there until 1984. The gallery was supported by direct grant from the Arts Council of Great Britain and during its summer programme showed work by young and emerging artists from every region of the UK. One of his tasks was to project thousands of slides of artists’ work for the Selection Committee who chose work from an open submission. Those who were successful brought their work down to London and Redfern and colleagues helped install and explain contemporary art to a, quite often, sceptical general public. It was a great opportunity to debate and discuss the issues of the day with artists from all over the country.
From 1984 to 2011 Redfern worked at Croydon College, working both part and full time on their art and design courses, from teaching to managing a number of programmes. The contact and discourse with both young and mature art students on a more formal basis was equally satisfying and developmental.
In 2000 Redfern was elected to The London Group, an artists’ collective established in 1913 by the likes of Walter Sickert, Jacob Epstein, Harold Gilman and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. Shortly afterwards he was asked to take on the role of Archivist which he did with great relish. Many years of research in the Tate Archive resulted in the publication of “The London Group: a history 1913 – 2013” on the occasion of the groups’ 100th anniversary.
Throughout his life Redfern has sought to travel and learn from other cultures, especially the United States, Russia, China and New Zealand. He has been included in exhibitions in the Hayward Gallery, Serpentine Gallery, Royal Academy Summer Shows and provincial galleries including Southampton, Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Cardiff amongst others. The Arts Council Collection, Southampton City Art Gallery and Wolverhampton Art Gallery as well as private patrons have collected his work.
Paintings 1972-1991: a review of the paintings of David Redfern from bygone days, or are they?, Felix & Spear, London, 2018 (Press Release)