David Austen & Hisham Matar: THE BOYS: AN ADVENTURE

15 April - 10 June 2023


THE BOYS: AN ADVENTURE is the result of an unusual correspondence between two friends, the artist David Austen and the writer Hisham Matar.


It began in March 2020, as London closed down, with the exchange of a drawing and a chapter via WhatsApp. Three years later, the conversation has grown into two distinct yet connected bodies of work: a novella from Hisham and a suite of 73 gouache drawings from David. The relationship between text and image is not illustrative; rather, the two share a temperament, and a sense of unfolding momentum.


THE BOYS: AN ADVENTURE will be revealed for the first time at an exhibition in Edinburgh, opening on Saturday 15th April with Austen’s complete suite of 73 drawings exhibited alongside Matar’s text. The words and pictures will be published together as an artist’s book, and the text will be available as a recording read by the actor Khalid Abdula.


David Austen is an artist based in London. His work has been widely collected by museums and institutions including Tate London, the British Council and the Arts Council, UK, as well as by private collections in Europe, the US, Australia, and Asia.  Past exhibitions include The Serpentine Gallery, London (1987), Milton Keynes Art Gallery (2007), Modern Art Oxford (2010) and DCA, Dundee (2019).


Hisham Matar is the author of three novels and two books of non-fiction. He is a recipient of a Pulitzer Prize and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Academy of Art. He spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo and has lived most of his adult life in London. He currently lives between London and New York where he is a literature professor at Barnard College, Columbia University. His next novel, MY FRIENDS, will be published by Viking in January 2024.


Both David Austen and Hisham Matar are available for interview. For further information or images please contact Hannah Ustun hannah@inglebygallery.com


THE BOYS: AN ADVENTURE will be published by Ingleby, Edinburgh in April 2023. The exhibition continues until 10th June.