Gene Davis’ superb use of color in a modern take on his famous stripes.
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Gene Davis became famous as a leading Washington Color School artist by building an oeuvre of stripes. Despite the ubiquity of the stripes, he was still always able to infuse spontaneity in his work. Davis was never formally trained, and he believed that his nonacademic background freed him from the limitations of a traditional art school orientation.
This drawing exemplifies Davis’ work.
Art historians and color theorists have often discussed that Davis’ stripe works were not based on conscious use of color theory; Davis often compared himself to a jazz musician who plays by ear, describing his approach to painting as ”playing by eye.” His goal in his work was to make complex schemes that lend themselves to sustained periods of viewing. Davis suggested to his viewer, “instead of simply glancing at the work, select a specific color—and take the time to see how it operates across the painting.—Enter the painting through the door of a single color, and then you can understand what my painting is all about.”