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Ronald Davis Seven Decades


203

FINE ART

Early Modern to Contemporary 1335 Gusdorf Rd, Suite i . Taos . New Mexico . 87571. 575.751.1262 art@203fineart.com . www.203FINEART.com


Ronald Davis Seven Decades

Exhibition Dates: September 25 - November 12, 2021


INTRODUCTION 203 Fine Art is pleased to present Seven Decades, a comprehensive survey of work by Ronald Davis, featuring significant pieces from the 1960s to the present. The exhibition celebrates Davis’s illustrious and ongoing career by featuring a wide range of work from the artist’s oeuvre. Selected from the artist’s studio, the exhibition includes artwork which has never been viewed publicly, as well as legacy works such as the keystone Dodecagon Series, many of which are in the permanent collections of major museums, emphasizing Davis’s important contribution to the American art scene. Through his explorations of space, color, time, form and ongoing adoption of new technologies, Ronald Davis continues to enrich the art world with his innovative techniques and concepts.


Ronald Davis in Studio, June 2021


Lemon Yellow, Dodecagon Series, 50.5 x 132”, moulded polyester resin & fiberglass, 1969 image 1


In the 1960s, Davis’s shaped canvases and polyester resin pieces explored optics, illusion and theories of perspective through hard-edge and painterly abstraction. These early techniques and style catapulted Davis from art student to internationally collected celebrity artist. Davis’s refinement of his own style and art practice over the following decades kept his work evolving, relevant and current.


Zig-Zag Times Two, 84.75 x 61.625”, Liquitex acrylic on shaped canvas, 1966 image 2


Hexagon Stopper, 8.5 x 20.25”, cel-vinyl acrylic on acetate, mounted in polyester resin, 1967 image 3


Red And Green Crab, 8.5 x 22 x 1.5”, cel-vinyl acrylic on acetate, 1967 image 4


Two and One-Half Blocks, 48 x 48”, cel-vinyl acrylic copolymer and dry pigment on canvas, 1974 image 5


Never exhibited, Two and One-Half Blocks and its mate, Open Cube, have been tucked away since the 1970s, until the staff of 203 Fine Art selected them for this exhibition.


Open Cube, 48 x 48”, cel-vinyl acrylic copolymer and dry pigment on canvas, 1974 image 6


Lamont, 101 x 66.5”, cel-vinyl acrylic on canvas, 1978 image 7


Convex Checkered Lens, 30 x 30”, cel-vinyl acrylic copolymer and nova gel on shaped canvas, 1988 image 8


In previous paintings, Davis would manually arrive at his geometric calculations. In 1988, he discovered using three-dimensional rendering software programs to design his paintings. Davis became an early pioneer using this digital medium. Employing new technologies of the time, it informed his paintings’ spatial perspective, precision and illusionary qualities. This aided Davis in further becoming a master of geometric perspective, paint handling, color and space.


Tri-Lift Slabs, 96 x 66.125”, cel-vinyl acrylic and dry pigment on canvas, 1987 image 9


Lavender Diagonal Slabette, 28.5 x 33 x 2.75”, cel-vinyl acrylic and nova gel on shaped canvas, 1985 image 10


Blue Slabette, 17.375 x 23”, cel-vinyl acrylic on canvas, 1985 image 11


Two-Thirds Lock Slabettes, 45.625 x 88 x 3.5” cel-vinyl acrylic and nova gel on shaped canvas, 1984 image 12


Davis bought a plot of land on the Arroyo Hondo Mesa in 1991 as a New Mexico getaway. Eventually, he would sell his Malibu studio, which was his first collaboration in architecture and moved permanently to New Mexico in 1993. As a geometrician, Davis was inspired by

geometry in native

architecture and discovered the relationship between the Hogan dome and recurring shapes in his work. Davis collaborated with architect Dennis Holloway and anthropologist Charles Cambridge to build a Navajo inspired Hogan residence and studio, in which he lives and creates work to this day. After his departure from the LA art scene, Davis took a brief hiatus from painting. Between 1991 and 1994, he began creating wood sculptures. He would later return to painting in 1995, making a series of watercolors and an encaustic on wood, Wax Series.


Ronald Davis’s Studio, June 2021


Blond Slab, 27.25 x 11.5 x 3”, dye and spar varnish on pine wood, 1992 image 13


Davis’s Studio, June 2021


Rounded Frame, 51 x 51”, encaustic on birch plywood, 1996 image 14


Pink and Purple Convex, 18.25 x 16 x 2.5”, encaustic on birch plywood, 1996 image 15


Cedar Slab, 18.5 x 12 x 2”, cedar and pine wood, varnished, 1994 image 16


Four-Fourths Cylinder, 36.5 x 43.5”, encaustic on birch plywood, 1996 image 17


Gray Taper, 19.375 x 20 x 6”, acrylic on expanded PVC, 2009 image 18


Installation view


Davis began a new series in the 2000s, creating more than sixtyfive new paintings over the course of a year. This work showcased painted shapes on expanded PVC plastic and Golden Acrylics which departed from Davis’s traditional “perspective grid” style. Many of these paintings still experiment with minimalism, flatness, and spatial illusions, but in unique, sculptural formations of the expanded PVC plastic.


Two Square Pinch Post, 47.5625 x 17”, acrylic on expanded PVC, 2001 image 19


Torque Hinge, 70.5 x 63 x 2”, acrylic on expanded PVC, 2002 image 20


Jericho 2002, 91.5 x 102”, Golden Acrylics on expanded PVC, 2002 image 21


Diamond Lock II, 65.5 x 38 x 3”, acrylic on expanded PVC, 2010 image 22


Yellow Glass, 5 x 5”, enamel on glass, 2021

Red Glass Rectangle, 4.25 x 2.25”, enamel on glass, 2016

image 23

image 24


Glorious Glass Dodecagon, 23.3 x 23.3”, pixeldust rendering on aluminum, 2019 image 25


Davis’s ongoing fascination with digital media, along with advancements in digital technology, resulted in the production of his digital paintings in the 2000s. This led to his Pixeldust series, which consist of many themed, digital renderings. These digital renderings are an extension of his geometric studies and are a testament to the influences that prevailed throughout the last seven decades of his work.


Translucent Cube, 23.3 x 23.3”, pixeldust behind acrylic glass, 2019 image 26


Mazzochio Too, 23.3 x 23.3”, pixeldust behind acrylic glass, 2019 image 27


Cone, Block, and Sphere, 12 x 21.3”, pixeldust rendering on aluminum with matte finish, 2021 image 28


Hexette Wedge II, 10.5 x 9.5”, acrylic on expanded PVC, 2021

Orange Maroon Oval, 20 x 16”, acrylic on canvas, 2021

image 29

image 30


Davis has continued his creative process using the digital medium, but had not picked up a paint brush in several years. In late 2020, Davis returned to painting and the image on the following page show some of the artist’s newest works which will be included in this exhibition.


Red Top Quad I, 29 x 16.5 x 16”, acrylic on expanded PVC with sculpture stand, 2021 image 31


Ronald Davis’s Studio, June 2021


Ronald Davis attended the San Francisco Art Institute and the Yale-Norfolk Summer School of Music and Art. Davis was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1968.

Important Museum and Foundation Collections:

Notable Exhibitions:

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

Nicholas Wilder, Los Angeles, CA

Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles, CA

Leo Castelli, New York, NY

Guggenheim, New York, NY

Blum Helman, New York, NY

Tate Modern, London, UK

International Biennial Exhibition of Art XXXVI, Venice, Italy

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

The Documenta II, Kassel, Germany

San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA

Documenta International, Kassel, Germany

Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, NM Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO Hall Art Foundation, Woodstock, VT


“If I’ve made any contribution at all, it is that counter to the glacial movement of serious twentieth century painting since Cézanne, towards flatness, I reintroduced the theorems of three-dimensional Renaissance mathematical perspective into my made objects - my constructions. This is my legacy, my contribution to the art history books. With this, I stumbled into a style of painting that can excavate walls.“ - Ronald Davis, 2002

The Butler Institute of American Art Ronald Davis Forty Years of Abstraction 1962 - 2002, page 24


Davis at work in studio, June 2021


1335 Gusdorf Rd, Suite i . Taos . New Mexico . 87571. 575.751.1262 art@203fineart.com . www.203FINEART.com

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Ronald Davis, Seven Decades Exhibition at 203 Fine Art  

203 Fine Art is pleased to present Seven Decades, a comprehensive survey of work by Ronald Davis, featuring significant pieces from the 1960...

Ronald Davis, Seven Decades Exhibition at 203 Fine Art  

203 Fine Art is pleased to present Seven Decades, a comprehensive survey of work by Ronald Davis, featuring significant pieces from the 1960...

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