Jeremy. Einstein. New York: The Viking Press, 1973.
Jacob. The Origins of Knowledge and Imagination. New Haven,
Conn.: Yale University Press, 1978.
Nigel. Einstein's Universe. New York: The Viking Press, 1979.
John. "New Paintings by Ron Davis," Artforum,
March 1971, pp. 32-34.
Ruth E. Gemini G.E.L.: Art and Collaboration. Exhibition catalogue,
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York: Abbeville Press,
Michael. "Ronald Davis: Surface and Illusion," Artforum, April
1967, pp. 37-41.
G. H. A Mathematician's Apology. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University
Gerald J. "On Trying to Understand Scientific Genius," in Thematic
Origins of Scientific Thought: Kepler to Einstein. Cambridge,
Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1973.
Charles. Ronald Davis Paintings 1962-76. Exhibition catalogue,
The Oakland Museum, Oakland, California, 1976.
Nancy. "Ron Davis: Beyond Flatness," Artforum, November 1976,
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McGrawHill Book Company, 1984. The The New York Academy of Sciences,
1986. All rights reserved.
at the artist: Ronald Davis
art is as old as artistic expression itself. Seen in Chinese bronzes
and Cycladic figurines thousands of years old, as well as in countless
decorative motifs from ancient pottery to modern neckties, geometry
appeals to the idealistic searchings of the human mind.
rise of geometric abstraction in the visual arts of this century evolved
from spiritual yearnings. In reducing his visual means to a simple
black-on-white grid interspersed with the three primary colors, red,
yellow, and blue, Piet Mondrian sought to come to terms with the complexities
of the universe. The black lines of his compositions do not stop at
the painting's edge, but rather project to infinity.
Davis, who indeed sees himself as a post-Einsteinian artist, perpetuates
geometric abstraction in the tradition of Mondrian. It is the spiritual
in Einstein's writings that he cites as inspiration for his own art:
"God does not play dice with the universe."
Davis was born in Santa Monica, California, in 1937. He spent most
of his youth in Cheyenne, Wyoming. After a year and a half in the
engineering program at the University of Wyoming, his diverse interests
directed him toward several careers, includeing race car driving and
radio announcing. In 1959 Davis entered the San Francisco Art Institute
and graduated from there in 1964. At that time, Bay Area interest
in abstract expressionism was high, and Davis's admiration for the
expansive abstractions of Clyfford Still is evident in his early canvases.
In 1965 Davis moved to Pasadena and had his first one-man show at
the Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles.
monochromatic shaped canvases of this period Davis examined issues
of spatial illusion and two- dimensionality. Interested in drawing
systems and new materials, he expressed in his art ideas about paintings
as objects and, in the late 1960's, sought a harder and smoother surface
on which to develop them. Experimenting with plastics, he began working
with resin and fiberglass, which offered great coloristic potential.
By 1972 Davis adopted a rectangular format, using canvas and acrylic
paints. By the end of the decade the artist was exploring computer-
generated imagery. He currently maintains a studio in Malibu.
had one-man exhibitions at the Nicholas Wilder Gallery in Los Angeles
from the mid-1960's through the 1970's and was represented in New
York by the Leo Castelli Gallery from 1968-75. He has been with the
BlumHelman Gallery in New York since 1979. The Pasadena Art Museum
organized a one-man exhibition of his work in 1971, and a major retrospective
was held at the Oakland Museum in 1976. More recently, shows have
been organized at Pepperdine University, Malibu (1979), and San Diego
State University (1980).
biography of Ronald Davis is excerpted with permission of the publisher
from the book by Ruth E. Fine Gemini G.E.L.: Art and Collaboration,
New York: Abbeville Press, 1984.
at The Academy
science-related art exhibition program has been made possible by
a generous grant from Novo Industri A/S of Denmark, an international
pharmaceutical and industrial-enzyme company. We are also grateful
to the following collectors for the loan of their works of art to
the exhibition: American Can Company, Greenwich, Connecticut; Max
and Dorothy Bier; Charles Cowles Gallery, New York; Seattle Art
Museum, Seattle, Washington; Shearson Lehman Brothers, New York;
and the Tyler Graphics Archive at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis,