Paul Kasmin Gallery is currently hosting Doubletake, an exhibition of new paintings by the British artist Ian Davenport. This is Davenport’s first solo show at the gallery since 2013’s Colorfall.
In Doubletake, Davenport explores the chromatic essence of historical masterpieces, the palette of many of the paintings being inspired by a canonical work. He has ranged widely through history for his sources, paying homage to paintings spanning from the 16th century to the 20th, creating a remarkable record of a painter’s taste and powerfully demonstrating how a great tradition of historical pictures can inform contemporary art.
His technique, driven by an enduring fascination with the materiality of paint and the process of painting, is similar in each. First, after studying the painting in depth and gaining an intuitive understanding of its colors and hues, he goes to work using his signature technique, which delivers elegant vertical lines cascading down the panels into rich puddles of color.
Their effect is both sublime, in their evocation of waterfalls, and subliminal, in their reminders of history. Referenced paintings include Van Gogh’s The Church in Auvers-sur-Oise, View from the Chevet, (1890) pulling out the rich blues of the sky, the green and beige from the lawn and path, and the reds from the roof of the church.
Other works that have inspired him include Jan Brueghel the Elder’s Flowers In A Wooden Vessel, (1606), Mada Primavesi (1912) by Gustav Klimt, and The Marriage of the Virgin (1504) by the Italian Renaissance master Perugino.
Each time, Davenport uses the colors in the historical work as a reference point to initiate his own color sequences and explorations of movement, surface and light. In so doing, he questions how color gives shape to a picture, helping to structure the background and foreground in representational pictures, and produce rhythm and dynamism in abstract art.
Ian Davenport’s Doubletake will be on Exhibit Through October 22nd, 2016 at Paul Kasmin Gallery, Located at 293 Tenth Avenue (SW Corner of 27th Street) in the Chelsea Gallery District.