Gene Davis

American (1920–1985)

Black Watch

1974

Acrylic on canvas

Collection of Eleanor Davidov

TR2009.11.29

Gene Davis is associated with the Washington Color School, along with Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Howard Mehring.  He takes a musical approach to his painting–the vertical in the compositions can be seen almost as piano strings. He says that he is “playing by eye” as he paints, emphasizing the improvisational quality of his work.

He suggests to viewers, “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.”

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