David Thomas was born in Belfast N. Ireland in 1951. He was educated in Australia studying at the University of Melbourne, Monash University and RMIT University, Melbourne. He holds an Fine Arts and a Ph.D. from RMIT University where he is a Professor of Fine Art (Painting,) in the School of Art.

His work explores the contemplative function of painting, photopainting and installation in the contemporary world, in particular how new iterations of the monochrome tradition can address issues of the perception of time and space, complexity, knowing and feeling.

He exhibits widely in Australia, Asia- Pacific and Europe.

He has been awarded grants from Australia Council, AGNSW, Arts Victoria and residencies (selected) from The Cité Internationale des Arts Paris, France, Two Rooms Gallery Auckland, New Zealand, The Centre for Drawing Research, Wimbledon College of Art, UAL and in 2013 at the Porthmeor Studios St Ives.

His work is represented in private and public collections including: The National Gallery of Victoria, The Australian National Gallery, Canberra. Art Bank, Sydney and Melbourne. Trinity College, The University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Museum of Modern Art at Heide, Cripp's Collection (Australia and UK), Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, N.Z., Canterbury University, Christchurch, N.Z., Lim Lip Museum, Gong Ju, S. Korea, Theodor F. Leifeld Stiftung, Kunstmuseum Ahlen, Germany, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany. Private collections in Australia, USA, France, Germany, S. Korea, NZ, and the UK.

He has curated many international exhibitions and has written on eastern and western art.