November 20, 2020 — January 09, 2021




Press Release



Kasmin is delighted to announce an exhibition of new works by Ian Davenport (b. 1966), on view from November 20, 2020–January 9, 2021, at 509 West 27th Street. Sequence brings together large-scale paintings spanning two series, several of which have been made by the artist in his studio in London, UK, during the months of lockdown.

Davenport’s meticulous experiments in color sequencing involve remixing palettes inspired by historic works of art and recollected from personal memories of heightened pictorial experience, such as walking through a bluebell forest in Kent, England. Playing with repetition, mirroring, inversion, balance, symmetry and asymmetry, the works engage in simultaneous investigations into color theory, optics, and the paradox between control and chance.

The artist’s signature technique—pouring paint onto a tilted surface according to a rigidly structured, preconceived composition—is driven by Davenport’s fascination with materiality. Using multiple hypodermic syringes filled with paint, the artist collaborates with the effects of gravity to encourage rivulets of color to lie against one another, gradually building a highly dense picture plane born from the dynamic accumulation of untouched paint. More recently, the artist has developed his process to include allowing the formation of puddles that act as a type of horizon between the wall and the floor of the gallery.

The exacting process demanded by the drip paintings is contrasted by that utilized in a series of the artist’s works on paper. Defined by their explosive mark-making and the organic softness of the paper beneath, they appear as fireworks of color bursting forth. The palettes in these works are chosen intuitively by Davenport, sequenced more loosely than the drip works. This playful oscillation between structure and chaos questions what an artist is able to control, exploring the contradictions and complexities of the creative process.

Ian Davenport studied at Goldsmiths' College of Art in London and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1991. His work has been exhibited internationally, and is included in many public collections such as the Tate, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas. Davenport has exhibited internationally over the past two decades, and in 2018 held a major solo exhibition at Dallas Contemporary, Texas. Davenport’s first extensive monograph was published by Thames and Hudson in 2014. His monumental painting Giardini Colourfall, a single painting spanning 45 feet, was featured within the Giardini of the 57th Venice Biennale, 2017.

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Image: Ian Davenport, Spring (Bluebonnet), 2018, acrylic on aluminum (six panels with additional floor section), 129 7/8 x 236 1/4 x 39 3/8 inches, 330 x 600 x 100 cm. Courtesy of the artist.

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