Artist biography

Gene Davis born 1920

American painter who has been a pioneer of colour stripe painting; one of the so-called 'Washington colour painters'. Born in Washington, DC. Studied the liberal arts at Maryland University, Baltimore, 1939-42, then attended Wilson Teachers College, Washington, 1943. Worked in the 1940s as a journalist. Without formal training in art, visited the Washington Workshop Center of the Arts in 1950 and resolved to paint independently. First one-man exhibition at the Dupont Theatre Gallery, Washington, 1952. Early paintings Abstract Expressionist under the influence of Gorky, de Kooning and Pollock, including experiments with poured paint, heavy impasto and irregularly shaped painting supports. First stripe picture 1958. From 1960 has worked exclusively with uniform hard-edged, top-to-bottom and all over stripes; his works include many wall-sized paintings with several hundred narrow pin-stripes of different colours, creating a colour interplay of great complexity. His exhibitions include a three-man show with Richard Smith and Robert Irwin at the Jewish Museum, New York, 1968. Teaches at the American University in Washington, where he lives.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.142