Painter and sculptor David Breuer-Weil was born to Jewish parents in London, England in 1965. His paternal grandparents fled occupied Vienna following the Anschluss (Nazi annexation of Austria) when his father, George (b. 1938), later a sculptor, painter, and jewellery designer, was still a baby. His mother, born in Copenhagen, settled in England in the early 1960s; her father was killed by the Nazis by Holte Lake in Denmark in 1944, the location subsequently inspiring several of David Breuer-Weil's landscapes. From childhood, he has observed, 'he was privy to discussions about the traumas of the earlier generation and these were a clear influence on his artistic vision in later years' (Modestas Mankus, 2021). Breuer-Weil trained in fine art, including sculpture, under Shelley Fausset (former assistant to Henry Moore), at Central Saint Martin's School of Art, London (1984-85), before studying English Literature at Clare College, Cambridge. After graduating, he was awarded a bursary by Sotheby's auctioneers, London, and trained across disciplines including Old Master Paintings; Judaica (at Sotheby's, Tel Aviv, 1991-94); then the Impressionist and Modern department, London until 1997, when he joined de Pury and Luxembourg Art, while simultaneously returning to his own artistic practice.


Since 2001 he has developed his ambitious Projects series: solo displays featuring vast painted canvases exploring aspects of the human condition, often exhibited in unusual locations, away from the conventional (and often restrictive) 'white' gallery space including: The Project (2001, shown in the Crypt (a former engine turning shed), at the Roundhouse, Camden - of which John Russell Taylor commented in The Times, 'it is difficult to think of any series of contemporary British paintings more ambitious in form and content … a colossal talent'; Project 2 (2003, the Bargehouse, OXO Tower, Southwark and Project 3 (2007), curated by Ben Hanly in conjunction with Ben Uri, shown in a disused, Covent Garden multi-storey car park. Project 4 (2013), staged in The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo, juxtaposed visions of tragedy and joy highlighting the artist's fundamental role as commentator and creator, prompting Astyaj Ghassemi Bass to observe that 'the angles of vision' were 'eccentric and disorientating, sometimes positively cinematic. Underlying the works is a profound sense of unease, but an element of hope seeps through' (Bass,, February 12, 2013).


Similar extremes underpin The Coviad (2021), Breuer-Weil's most recent work (the title resonates with Homer's Iliad): an epic, contemporary, version of the Bayeux Tapestry for the age of pandemic - identical in size - some 350,000 square centimetres - and executed in pencil and gold leaf, it is one of the largest composite drawings ever made. Immediately prior to this, during the first lockdown, while suffering from Covid, the artist made 66 Golden Drawings (published by Gli Ori, 2020), a series of hallucinatory 'diary' images, in which he explored techniques and themes afterwards presented in The Coviad. Originally envisaged as a single installation, this frieze-like drawing of 70 sections, launched as an online exhibition at in April 2021, preceded by a short film. A mythic retelling of a blighted year, it moves sequentially through the spread of the pandemic, the experience of lockdown and the arrival of hope in the form of vaccines, but also embraces contemporary global issues including the death of George Floyd, the toppling of statues and the evils of slavery, also referencing the ten plagues associated with Passover. Equally important, are images of human achievement, including the discovery of DNA, and hope, with the final image capturing the recent Mars landing.


Breuer-Weil has also created monumental bronzes for public spaces, working initially with clay maquettes, which preserve his thumbprints, a process he suggests is 'in some ways more like painting than painting itself [...]' (Interview with James Hyman, 2011). Large-scale sculptures have been displayed at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire (2010, 2011, 2013); National Trust, Mottisfont, Hampshire (2016); and Marble Arch, London (2016); others are permanently sited at Teddy Kollek Park, Jerusalem; the Cafesjian Museum of Art, Armenia; and the Museo Berardo Collection, Portugal. Influenced by family history, biblical and Talmudic sources, and prehistoric sites including Stonehenge and Avebury, Breuer-Weil aspired to 'make contemporary monumental pieces [...] instilled with human thoughts and expressions of human relationships such as brothers and searing images of outsiders and arrivals from different cultures' (Modestus Mankus, 2021). Smaller works have been displayed in solo exhibitions including Vogue Landscapes, Alon Zakaim Fine Art, London (2009), and survey shows Closing the Door? - Immigrants to Britain 1905-2005 (2005) and Shaping Ceramics: From Lucie Rie to Edmund de Waal (2016-17), both at the Jewish Museum, London. The monograph David Breuer-Weil, Radical Visionary (Skira, Milan, 2011), was followed in 2015, by a film, The King of Nerac, featuring the artist and directed by Annie Sulzberger, which premiered at the ICA, London and the Lincoln Center, New York, 'focussing on Nerac, an imaginary world Breuer-Weil established in his childhood, […] a world of bizarre prophecy and strange thought - a place that has sustained [his] wellspring of creativity to this very day' ( David Breuer-Weil lives and works in London. His work is represented in the Ben Uri Collection.