Gene Davis
Birth Date: August 22, 1920
Death Date: April 6, 1985
Artist Gallery
Gene Davis was born in Washington D.C. in 1920. Self-taught, Davis decided to become a painter in the 1950s. After experimenting with Abstract Expressionism, neo-Dada and Pop styles, he made his first edge-to-edge painting of vertical stripes in 1958. The following year, he may have been the first American painter to use hard edge stripes of which no vestiges of painterliness remained. This is termed Color Field. Color Field works are often composed of many small elements, in the form of splatters, lines, brushstrokes or shapes. If all of the small elements are of the same size and uniformly placed on the canvas or paper, then nothing is emphasized. Some Color Field artists prefer to use large expanses of single-color canvas for their works, instilling in the viewer a sort of tranquil awe. Generally, the colors used are harmonious, and the overall effect is soothing and calm. Davis’s stripes pull forward and others recede, depending upon their intensity of hue and width.