Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition of new paintings by Ian Davenport from April 2nd through May 2nd, 2009 with a private view on April 2nd.
Throughout his career, Davenport has approached making paintings by developing rigorous and typically, highly physical techniques. With the 'Puddle Paintings' he pours lines of water-based paints from a heavy-duty syringe on to aluminum or stainless steel panels and then allows gravity to pull the paint down the surface of the work. Davenport manipulates the angle of the bottom of each panel, prompting the liquid lines of paint to pool and gather, orchestrating the multi-coloured puddling that occurs at the base, but ultimately relinquishing control of this part of the process, encouraging the paint to surrender to its liquid nature.
The surfaces of the panels are carefully prepared, the background colour providing the title of each work - such as Puddle Painting: Magenta illustrated above. The quality of the surface and seemingly effortless finish of the works belies the physical effort and touch required to execute this fine balance - technical control of his medium co-existing with invited chance.
Davenport uses colour as a tool to explore light, rhythm and surface. The formal simplicity of the repeated vertical line allows him the freedom to investigate colour relationships, sometimes daringly juxtaposed, sometimes quietly residing next to each other, line beside line. These sequences are carefully choreographed but are guided by Davenport's intuitive response to colour and its sensory power.
The essence of the paintings, in the artist's own words, "is the richness of the final outcome, which is intertwined with a set of procedures." Davenport is employing both chance and control – creating paintings which are simultaneously linear and flared, strict and malleable.
Born in Kent, 1966, Davenport studied at Goldsmith's college of Art in London, graduation in 1988 with a B.A. in Fine Art. He was included in the seminal Freeze exhibition of 1988 and was nominated for the Turner prize in 1991. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, represented by Waddington Galleries in London. His work is in the collection of the Tate Gallery, London, the Weltkunst Collection, Zurich and the Dallas Museum of Art, Texas. The artist lives and works in London.