GENE DAVIS (1920-1985)
Unique Color Pastel Painting, 1981
Framed. Provenance: Jan Cowles Collection
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For offer is an original, unique hand signed and dated 1981 color pastel on paper painting by important Washington Color School/Color Field painter Gene Davis.
The sheet measures 12 inches (vertical) by 18 inches (horizontal), and framed the work measures 15 inches (vertical by 21.25 inches (horizontal). It is elegantly floated and framed and ready to hang.
The provenance of this work is superb: came from the collection of philanthropist and collector Jan Cowles, mother in law of Charles Cowles, Gene Davis' dealer of record during the 1980s when this work was created, and it was acquired at a sale held by the Trustees of the Cowles bankruptcy estate. (I won't bore you with the rather sad details, but Jan Cowles ended up suing her son in law Charles over, among other matters, a Roy Lichtenstein painting hanging on her wall that he ostensibly sold through Gagosian Gallery without her permission, as well as another painting she had allegedly promised as a donation to the Metropolitan museum. Charles ended up declaring bankruptcy and having many important works from the Gallery's collection sold by the Trustees of his bankruptcy estate, and many works were also sold from the collection of Jan Cowles, including this pastel painting by Gene Davis.)
The work is hand signed lower right by Gene Davis, and dated 1981. It is in an elegant black wood frame. In mint condition and ready to hang.
Authenticity unconditionally guaranteed.
Gene Davis was born in 1920 in Washington, D.C., where he lived most of his life. After startinga careeras a sportswriter and later becoming a political journalist in the 1940s; Davis began to paint in 1949. His first art studio was his apartment on Scott Circle and later he worked out of a studio on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Davis's first solo exhibition of drawings was at the Dupont Theatre Gallery in 1952 and his first exhibition of paintings was at Catholic University in 1953. Though he worked in a variety of media and styles, Davis is best known for his acrylic paintingsmostly on canvas of colorful vertical stripes, which he began to paint in 1958.
In 1965, he participated in the Washington Color Painters exhibition at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art in Washington, D.C., which traveled around the U.S. and launched the recognition of the Washington Color Schoolas a regional movement in which Davis was a central figure.
Davis began teaching in 1966 at the Corcoran School of Art, where he became a permanent member of the faculty. In 1974, Davis was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. In 1984, he was appointed the commissioner of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
His work may be found in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York, NY; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA.
Gene Davis died in April of 1985 in Washington, D.C.
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