Artist biography

English painter. He trained at the Northwich College of Art and Design, Cheshire (1984–5), and Goldsmiths College, London (1985–8). He exhibited in an influential exhibition, Freeze, curated by fellow student Damien Hirst in 1988, and in 1991 he was nominated for the Turner Prize. In 1999 he was a prizewinner in the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition. His abstract paintings are made by pouring layers of household paints on to prepared canvases and boards tilted so that gravity and the consistency of the paint determine the final configuration of the areas of colour. His systematic approach, predetermining both materials and process, results in paintings whose effect is based on physical immediacy rather than any theoretical or narrative background, although the procedures of American painters of the 1950s and 60s associated with Post-painterly Abstraction, notably Morris Louis, have been cited as antecedents. His typical paintings of the early 1990s, such as Untitled (Drab) (1990; London, Tate) were reliant on a technique of pouring gloss paint that resulted in shiny, essentially monochromatic striped surfaces. His work became increasingly colourful through the 1990s yet retained the cool aesthetic dominant in that decade. He introduced a diptych and triptych format and a method of pouring that created a basic arch motif. These multi-panelled works consist of identical images arrived at through a tightly repeated procedure, for instance in the triptych Poured Painting: Magenta, Orange, Magenta (household paint on medium density fibreboard, 2.44×4.57 m, 1999; London, Waddington Gals, see 2000 exh. cat.).

Ian Davenport (exh. cat., essay N. Rosenthal, London, Waddington Gals, 1990)
Ian Davenport (exh. cat., essay R. Shone, London, Waddington Gals, 1993)
Ian Davenport: Large Scale Paintings (exh. cat., essay M. Bracewell, London, Waddington Gals, 2000)

10 December 2000

Article provided by Grove Art Online