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Sky Wagon

1969
54 x 57 in. (137.2 x 144.8 cm)

Gene Davis
American (Washington, DC, 1920 - 1985)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Acrylic on canvas
Credit Line: Gift of Benjamin P. Nicolette in memory of Richard C. Nicoletti
Accession Number: 1978.74
Link to this object
Location: Not currently on view

In the late 1950s, Gene Davis was among a group of artists who reacted against the gestural, expressive style of Abstract Expressionism (see the painting by Hans Hofmann nearby). In a 1981 interview, Davis recalled the motivation behind his work of the period:

Well, in the climate of 1957, ’58, Abstract Expressionism and painterly abstraction were dominating everything. All the art departments—college art departments—were grinding out little De Koonings and Pollocks and Klines and so on. So, in that climate, it seemed like Abstract Expressionism was academic, and there was no place to go….So the very opposite place to go, obviously, was to get away from painterliness and be neat….So I just…decided to do a stripe painting, just to be outrageous….I was just one of a number of people that were beginning to feel…this painterly abstraction was used up and we had to move somewhere else….

[Summer 2015]

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