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Lot 8: Gene Davis, "Apple Jack," Acrylic on Canvas, 1970
27 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Acrylic on canvas
Gene Davis (1920–1985) — American painter
Titled and and inscribed in pencil on upper and lower stretcher bars.
Provenance: Charles Cowles Gallery, Inc., New York
Hokin Gallery, Inc., Palm Beach, Florida
Work dimensions: 33 x 35 ⅞ in (83.83 x 86 cm)
Framed dimensions: 34 x 37 x 1.5 in (86.36 x 93.98 x 3.81 cm)
“Apple Jack” is a lively example of one of Gene Davis’s trademark paintings of vertical stripes of color, precisely executed and delicately composed. Here, understated blues and purples dominate the center of the canvas, flanked by thin strips of bright red, yellow, and orange hues, coming together to form an energetic, yet harmonious composition.
Gene Davis (American, b.1920 – d.1985)
Gene Davis was best known for his abstract Color Field paintings he developed in 1949 while working as a White House press correspondent and coming into contact with the works of Paul Klee. After refining his characteristic style of rhythmic, colorful compositions of vertical stripes in acrylic paint in 1959, Davis’ painting “Black Grey Beat” (1964) was widely regarded for his exemplary style and aesthetic. Critics and contemporaries identified him as a prominent member of the Washington Color School, an art movement that gained momentum in the late 1950s to mid-1960s, and included artists Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland. Davis described his method as "a tendency to raid my past without guilt [by] going back and picking up on some idea that I flirted with briefly, say fifteen or twenty years ago. I will then take this idea and explore it more in depth, almost as if no time had elapsed between the present and the time of its original conception." Davis was the recipient of numerous honors in the later stages of his life and career, most notably his role as commissioner of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
In overall excellent condition. A few minor stains at lower left.
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