Kenn Davis (1932-2010)
With his paintings often categorized as surrealist, Kenn Davis adds other adjectives such as visionary, symbolist, and fantasy. He says: "I dream a lot, unconventional I admit, and upon awakening often draw a thumbnail sketch of the idea or image. Also I am a daydreamer. Then I make small drawings, which are often augmented with automatic drawings, doodles, scribbles, and eventually a possible idea comes forth. I think about that idea for a long time. If I like it, eventually I paint it."
Born 1932 in Salinas California, he moved to San Francisco when he was around 5 years old. Davis went to grammar school and high school and college in San Francisco. Drafted into the army in 1952, he was sent to Korea and Japan. Mustered out of the army in 1954, he continued his art studies at San Francisco City College. During this time, his sense of social conscience grew stronger and was slowly integrated into his paintings, which he began showing to local galleries. In the early 1950s, '51, and through the 1950s, he was part of the North Beach bohemian scene. In 1956 he had his first solo exhibition in San Francisco with more to follow. In 1959, he had his first exhibition outside San Francisco, in Chicago.
In the late 1950s, Davis was hired by the San Francisco Chronicle where he worked in the art department until 1984, when he retired.
Kenn Davis died on January 12, 2010 of a heart attack.
1970 California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Phelan Awards Exhibition
1965 California Palace of the Legion of Honor Winter Invitational
Selected Juried Exhibitions:
2001 16th Annual International MAGNUM OPUS exhibition Sacramento Fine Arts Center, Sacramento, Calif.
2000 17th Annual Exhibition,Visual Arts Alliance, Houston, Texas. (honorable mention)
2000 What Is Drawing Now exhibition, Weber State University, Utah
1999 44th Annual International Exhibition Northern California Arts Assoc. Carmichael, Calif. (Honorable Mention)
1999 25th Annual Exhibition, San Jose Art League San Jose, Calif.
Information provided by the artist