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Bernstein, Jeremy. Einstein. New York: The Viking Press, 1973.

Bronowski, Jacob. The Origins of Knowledge and Imagination. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1978.

Calder, Nigel. Einstein's Universe. New York: The Viking Press, 1979.

Elderfield, John. "New Paintings by Ron Davis," Artforum, March 1971, pp. 32-34.

Fine, Ruth E. Gemini G.E.L.: Art and Collaboration. Exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York: Abbeville Press, 1984.

Fried, Michael. "Ronald Davis: Surface and Illusion," Artforum, April 1967, pp. 37-41.

Hardy, G. H. A Mathematician's Apology. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1940.

Holton, Gerald J. "On Trying to Understand Scientific Genius," in Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought: Kepler to Einstein. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1973.

Kessler, Charles. Ronald Davis Paintings 1962-76. Exhibition catalogue, The Oakland Museum, Oakland, California, 1976.

Marmer, Nancy. "Ron Davis: Beyond Flatness," Artforum, November 1976, pp. 34-37.

von Baeyer, Hans Christian. Rainbows, Snowflakes and Quarks. New York: McGrawHill Book Company, 1984. The The New York Academy of Sciences, 1986. All rights reserved.

A look at the artist: Ronald Davis

Geometric 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.

The 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.

Ronald 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."

Ronald 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.

In his 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.

Davis 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).

This 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.



Art at The Academy

Joelle Burrows, Director

This 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, Minnesota.

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