"30 years of painting"
exhibition schedule: may2003
This exhibition could never have happened. This body of incredible paintings could have remained one of those mythic New York art tales, passed around in artists' bars by painters, and the small circle of Davis admirers, like that other urban legend of giant albino alligators in the sewers. Fortunately, for those of us interested in the phenomena of "the practice of painting," especially that at the margins, this exhibition offers the opportunity to experience an authentic obsessive. Davis exercises a type of painting that is not franchised by any school or movement. Indeed, he has paintings that he's been working on longer than some of today's hottest young painters have been alive. Specifically, the artist has evolved (it's hard to call his style ³painting² in its accepted definition) a series of small panels which he has cultivated for over thirty years. Not only are they unique in the duration of their execution, but also in the choice of palette used, white. The actual description of these panels is beyond my rudimentary verbal skills to express. Metaphorical allusions such as painterly stalagmites of mineral precipitations that have occurred over millennia or bizarre coral formations with a consciousness of their own creation may be as close as I can come. From a more empirical perspective, they represent an example of painting transcending the limitations of two or even three dimensions, and entering Einstein¹s fourth dimension of time. Astrophysicists using the multi-million dollar Hubble Space Telescope tell us that by looking deep into infinite space they can see billions of years into the past, a virtual time machine if you will. Similarly, an observer can gaze into the depths of a Davis painting and see the residuals of time past, like reading the rings of an ancient sequoia. Recorded there are the life and moods of a painter from the last third of the twentieth century. ----- by james kalm