Gene Davis (1920-1985) was a sport journalist before transitioning to the arts. He reportedly made his first artworks at age 29. He achieved significant success, and influence, through his hard line color drawings and association with the Washington Color School. His works continue to have a strong market, and are frequently exhibited in major cultural institutions.

Solo Exhibitions
1959—March 3—21
1961—Jan. 10—28
1962—Nov. 27—Dec. 15
1967—Micropaintings, March 28–April 15

Group Exhibitions
1958—The Group +2, May 20—June 17
1958—12 Washington Artists, University of Kentucky, Oct. 19—Nov. 16
1958—Christmas Show, Nov. 25—Dec. 31
1959—Member’s Show, April 21—May 2
1959—Approaches to Contemporary Painting, Sept. 22—Oct. 10
1960—End of Year Review, May 17—June 11
1960—Art from America’s Cities, Sept 20—Oct. 15
1960—Christmas Show, Dec. 13—Jan 7, 1961
1961—Winter ’61, Twentieth Century Gallery, Williamsburg, VA, Jan 9—Feb. 17
1961—Review and Preview, May 22—June 4
1961—The Year Ahead, Oct. 3—Nov. 4
1961—Paper Show, Dec. 5—Jan. 5, 1962
1962—Small Paintings and Sculpture, Jan. 7–27
1962—Group Show, Oct. 2—20
1968—Jefferson Place Ten Years, July 16–Aug. 7

 

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Artist Gene Davis
Jefferson Place Gallery Catalog, 1959 [ #178 ]

connected archival press clips

Interview with Gene Davis
Interview with Gene Davis
October 23, 2017
Publication Unknown
Q: does it matter where an artist lives and works? A: For the artist, geography is destiny. If Money had been living in Stockholm instead of Paris, I doubt he would have become the master of Impressionism. Something in the air in late 19th-century Pairs miraculously led to Impressionism. Something similar happened here in Washington […]
Of Stripes on Canvas: A Conversation with Gene Davis
Of Stripes on Canvas: A Conversation with Gene Davis
December 19, 1978
The Washington Post
GD: Would you like to see my first stripe painting from 1958?… This pale painting doesn’t have anything to do with my more familiar, bright, hard edge stripe works. This is closer to Klee..
An Artist Speaks: Gene Davis
An Artist Speaks: Gene Davis
August 26, 1962
The Washington Post
When did you first exhibit these new works? My show at the Dupont Theater Gallery in 1959 was transitional. Even so, three of the pictures in that show experimented with stripes. It was not until a group exhibit at the Jefferson Place….
An Artist Speaks: Gene Davis
An Artist Speaks: Gene Davis
August 26, 1962
The Washington Post
By March of 1959 I had another show at the Jefferson Place Gallery, mostly of black-and-white action paintings. It was then that I finally came to the conclusion that I had gone as far as I could with action painting. At that time, although I had a number of works in the new direction, I […]
An Artist Speaks: Gene Davis
An Artist Speaks: Gene Davis
August 26, 1962
The Washington Post
It was not until 1958 that I began to pick up the threads of my Catholic University show. I began to experiment with certain geometric shapes -circles, triangles and squares-in the middle of the canvas. I also began to use single stripes on either edge of the canvas in a number of so-called neo-Dada works, […]
Work of ‘Action’ Painter Shown
Work of ‘Action’ Painter Shown
March 8, 1959
The Washington Post
You better hurry on down and either get help or mad.
Work of ‘Action’ Painter Shown
Work of ‘Action’ Painter Shown
March 8, 1959
The Washington Post
It is only by taking the time to look at them carefully that the spectator will become aware of the tensions and thrusts of planes in space that make these canvases so dynamic. Their sheer power is overwhelming at first, but it is founded on a sure knowledge of composition and on a vital balance […]
Work of ‘Action’ Painter Shown
Work of ‘Action’ Painter Shown
March 8, 1959
The Washington Post
Davis is a member of the “action” group of painters, who believe that the act of painting is an end in itself, and his work is certain to arouse a a storm of controversy among the public.
Work of ‘Action’ Painter Shown
Work of ‘Action’ Painter Shown
March 8, 1959
The Washington Post
He is one of the best draftsmen working in Washington. His command of black and white is unusually fine, but this is the first time that so large a group of his abstract expressionist paintings has been shown.
Work of ‘Action’ Painter Shown
Work of ‘Action’ Painter Shown
March 8, 1959
The Washington Post
The Jefferson Place Gallery has just opened a one-man show by one of its new members, Washington journalist Gene Davis. Davis has held previous shows at the Watkins Gallery, the Franz Bader Gallery, Catholic University and the Dupont Theater Gallery.
Intuitive Stripes
Intuitive Stripes
January 22, 1961
The Washington Star
[Davis describes:] It has to do with light, endless space and flatness. To those who see only decoration I suggest looking a little longer, and, perhaps, with fewer preconceived notions.” Stripes are the theme of most of these 17 recent paintings, which range in size from one about 90 square feet to several a foot […]
Intuitive Stripes
Intuitive Stripes
January 22, 1961
The Washington Star
Anyone simple-minded enough to think (as did this reviewer) that these paintings look like awnings or mattress ticks, is light-years away from their subtle, esoteric significance. Stripes are the theme of most of these 17 recent paintings, which range in size from one about 90 square feet to several a foot or so in dimensions. […]
Intuitive Stripes
Intuitive Stripes
January 22, 1961
The Washington Star
Stripes are the theme of most of these 17 recent paintings, which range in size from one about 90 square feet to several a foot or so in dimensions. Some have pencil-thing stripes close together, other wider stripes farther apart, showing more natural white canvas.