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Gene Davis

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Zebra from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed.150
Zebra from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed.150

Installation View
Zebra from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed.150

Zebra from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed.150

Inquire
Black Popcorn from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150
Black Popcorn from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150
Battle for Grownups from Portfolio Series II (left), 1969

Black Popcorn from Portfolio Series II (right) 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

30" x 20" and 24" x 30"

ed. 150
Black Popcorn from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150

Installation View
Black Popcorn from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150

Installation View
Black Popcorn from Portfolio Series II (signature verso), 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150
Black Popcorn from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150

Black Popcorn from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150

Inquire
Ianthe from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150
Ianthe from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150
Ianthe from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150

Ianthe from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150

Inquire
Battle for Grownups from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

30" x 20"

ed. 150
Battle for Grownups from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

30" x 20"

ed. 150
Battle for Grownups from Portfolio Series II (left), 1969

Black Popcorn from Portfolio Series II (right) 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

30" x 20" and 24" x 30"

ed. 150
Battle for Grownups from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

30" x 20"

ed. 150

Installation View
Battle for Grownups from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

30" x 20"

ed. 150

Installation View
Battle for Grownups from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

30" x 20"

ed. 150

Battle for Grownups from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

30" x 20"

ed. 150

Inquire
Series I (Cover of the Complete Box Set of 6), 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150
Jack in the Box from Portfolio Series I, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

30" x 20"

ed. 150
Tarzan from Portfolio Series I, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150
King Kong from Portfolio Series I, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150
Graf Zeppelin from Portfolio Series I, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

30" x 20"

ed. 150
Bullet Proof from Portfolio Series I, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150
John Barley Corn from Portfolio Series I, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

30" x 20"

ed. 150
Series I (Cover of the Complete Box Set of 6), 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150

Series I (Cover of the Complete Box Set of 6), 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150

Inquire
Royal Canoe, 1977

screenprint

37 1/2" x 45"

ed. 100
Royal Canoe, 1977

screenprint

37 1/2" x 45"

ed. 100
Royal Canoe (edition view), 1977

screenprint

37 1/2" x 45"

ed. 100
Royal Canoe (signature view), 1977

screenprint

37 1/2" x 45"

ed. 100
Royal Canoe, 1977

screenprint

37 1/2" x 45"

ed. 100

Royal Canoe, 1977

screenprint

37 1/2" x 45"

ed. 100

Inquire
Black Watch I, 1974

silkscreen

68" x 42"

ed. 150
Black Watch II, 1974

silkscreen

68" x 42"

ed. 150
Black Watch II (detail), 1974

silkscreen

68" x 42"

ed. 150
Black Watch I, 1974

silkscreen

68" x 42"

ed. 150

Black Watch I, 1974

silkscreen

68" x 42"

ed. 150

Inquire
Black Watch III, 1974

silkscreen

72" x 45"

ed. 150

Black Watch III, 1974

silkscreen

72" x 45"

ed. 150

Inquire
Checkmate, 1972

hand-colored lithograph

40 1/3" x 30"

ed. 75

Checkmate, 1972

hand-colored lithograph

40 1/3" x 30"

ed. 75

Inquire
Zebra from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed.150

Zebra from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed.150

Black Popcorn from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150

Black Popcorn from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150

Ianthe from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150

Ianthe from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150

Battle for Grownups from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

30" x 20"

ed. 150

Battle for Grownups from Portfolio Series II, 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

30" x 20"

ed. 150

Series I (Cover of the Complete Box Set of 6), 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150

Series I (Cover of the Complete Box Set of 6), 1969

silkscreen on canvas on board

24" x 30"

ed. 150

Royal Canoe, 1977

screenprint

37 1/2" x 45"

ed. 100

Royal Canoe, 1977

screenprint

37 1/2" x 45"

ed. 100

Black Watch I, 1974

silkscreen

68" x 42"

ed. 150

Black Watch I, 1974

silkscreen

68" x 42"

ed. 150

Black Watch III, 1974

silkscreen

72" x 45"

ed. 150

Black Watch III, 1974

silkscreen

72" x 45"

ed. 150

Checkmate, 1972

hand-colored lithograph

40 1/3" x 30"

ed. 75

Checkmate, 1972

hand-colored lithograph

40 1/3" x 30"

ed. 75

Biography

Gene Davis - Artists - About Bethesda Fine Art

Gene Davis (1920–1985), one of the best-known artists of the Washington Color School, was born in DC and spent nearly all his life here. The Washington painters were among the most prominent of the mid-century color field painters. Davis is best known for his acrylic paintings and silkscreens of colorful vertical stripes, which he began to create in 1958. 

Entirely self-taught, the artist began painting in 1949, using his apartment as a studio in Scott Circle, later moving his work space to a building on Pennsylvania Avenue. Davis started out as a journalist and sports writer, covering the Washington Redskins and other local teams, as well as the Roosevelt and Truman presidential campaigns. He eventually befriended Truman and became his partner for poker games. 
 
Davis's first solo exhibition of drawings was at the Dupont Theater Gallery in 1952, and his first exhibition of paintings was at Catholic University in 1953. A decade later, he participated in the Washington Color Painters exhibition at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art, a space located off Dupont Circle, which also showed works by the likes of Grace Hartigan, Robert Indiana, and Ellsworth Kelly. Gerald Nordland was gallery director at the time and coined the term Washington Color School. The show traveled to other venues around the US, establishing the District as an important region for art and garnering national attention and acclaim. 

Davis took his self-described jazz inspired stripes to extremes. In 1972, he created Franklin’s Footpath, by painting colorful stripes on the street in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (and, after his death, recreated in DC), as well as the world’s largest painting, Niagara (43,680 square feet), in a parking lot in Lewiston, NY. His “micro-paintings,” on the other hand, were as small as 3/8 of an inch square, smaller than a matchbook. 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.

Davis’s works are in the collections of many major museums, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN; 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 National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; The Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza Art Collection in Albany, NY; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.