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Kasmin Gallery opens an exhibition of new works by Ian Davenport
Installation view of Ian Davenport Sequence. November 20, 2020–January 9, 2021. Photo by Diego Flores. Courtesy of the artist and Kasmin Gallery.

NEW YORK, NY.- Kasmin is presenting 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 is included in many public collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The British Museum, London; Tate, London; Arts Council Collection, London; British Council Collection, London, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff; FNAC Fonds National d’art contemporain, France; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museu Berardo, Portugal; Von Der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal, Germany; Museum Voorlinden, The Netherlands; The Rose Museum, Massachusetts; Dallas Museum of Art, Texas.

Davenport has exhibited internationally over the past three 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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