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 Ronald Wendell Davis  (1937 - )      Visit this Artist's Studio on AskART

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Lived/Active: California/New Mexico      Known for: geometric and lyrical abstraction, graphics

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Ad Code: 3
Ron Davis
from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

Born in Santa Monica, California, June 29,1937, he studied painting at the San Francisco Art Institute and began painting abstract expressionist works. Davis was a Yale-Norfolk Summer School of Music and Art grantee in 1962 and a National Endowment of the Arts grantee in 1968.

Davis' impressive career is punctuated with innovative work in a number of mediums.  He made geometric shaped illusionist paintings using colored polyester resins and fiberglass from 1966 to 1972.  His creative genius was utilized from the design and construction of numerous architectural studios, structures and residences collaborating with architect Frank Gehry, architect Dennis Holloway,and anthropologist Charley Cambridge; and sound sculpture and electronic music composition through the use of a Buchla synthesizer to 3-D rendering, digital painting, and giclee computer printing.  He also collaborated with Ken Tyler at Gemini, G.E.L. and Tyler Graphics in Bedford, NY, to learn silkscreening, lithography, etching, and papermaking.

Davis produced a number of interesting series including the 1975-1978 large scale, geometric, and illusionist Snapline Series, the Floater Series in 1978-1979; the Flatland Series in 1980-1981; Object Paintings in 1982; Music Series in 1983-85; Freeway and Freeline Series in 1987 and the Spiral Series in 1988.

In 1962, Davis began exhibiting his work at museums and galleries.  He exhibited his work in many one man shows at different venues including Nicholas Wilder Gallery, LA, 1965; Tibor de Nagy Gallery, 1966; Leo Castelli, 1968; Jaquelin Lloyd Contemporary in Taos, 1998; Ronald Davis: Recent Abstractions at Philip Bareiss Rine Art, Taos, 2002; Ronald Davis: Recent Abstractions at Victoria Meyhren Gallery, University of Denver School of Art and Art History, Denver, Colorado, 2002; and Ronald Davis: 40 Years of Abstractions at the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio, 2002.

Information provided by of Stuart Tyrnauer

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Ronald Davis was born in Santa Monica, California in 1937, but was raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  He started off by studying engineering at the University of Wyoming between 1955 and 1956.  By 1959, when he was twenty two, he realized his true calling as a painter and enrolled in the San Francisco Art Institute in 1960.

During the four years he spent at the San Francisco Art Institute, Davis's work incorporated abstract expressionist elements and rigid geometric forms.  After 1964, he moved to Los Angeles and had his first one man show at the Nicholas Wilder Gallery in Los Angeles.  His art was a dynamic force changing with the different materials Davis brought together. "He became known for works in which loose, gestural paint surfaces were distributed across large sheets of plastic in geometric formats that suggested foreshortened boxes and frames (Albright)."

From 1966-1972, he used colored polyester resins and fiberglass, and learned silk-screening and lithography.  At one point Davis even combined his interest in music and art to create 'musical sculpture'.  Davis returned to painting on canvas after becoming aware of the risks involved with the toxic materials he had been exposing himself to while producing some of his work.

He built a large studio in his Malibu, California house in 1975-1978 where he could work on large scale geometric paintings.  In 1990, Davis traveled to Taos, New Mexico and purchased some property there.  He used the land to build a series of traditional Navajo based dwellings (Hogans).  He relocated to Arroyo Honda for good in 1993 and sold his Malibu house.  As of 1995 he was still known to be producing art.

Thomas Albright, Art in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-1980
California artists, and he is preparing a catalogue for a 2004 traveling exhibition of these artists to several California museums.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Post War California artist, Ron Davis studied at the University of Wyoming, Laramie, 1955-1956; California School of Fine Arts, 1960-1964; and the Yale University-Norfolk School of Music and Art, 1962. Then in 1965 settled in Southern California.

Solo Exhibitions: Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles, 1965, 1967, 1969, 1973; Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, 1966; Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, 1968, 1969, 1971, 1974, 1975; Kasmin Gallery, London, 1968, 1971; Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, 1975 (with Tom Holland); The Oakland Museum, 1976; others.

Selected Group Exhibitions: San Francisco Museum of Art, Painting and Sculpture in California: The Modern Era 1976.

Public Collections: The Oakland Museum; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Literature: Thomas Albright, Art in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-1980; The Art of California, Selected Works from the Collection of The Oakland Museum; Henry Hopkins, Painting and Sculpture in California, The Modern Era; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Painting and Sculpture Collection; Nancy Moure, California Art, 450 Years of Painting & Other Media.

David J Carlson, Carlson Gallery, California. Carlson's specialty is Post-World War II

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