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,
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, 1984.
Michael. "Ronald Davis: Surface and Illusion," Artforum,
April 1967, pp. 37-41.
G. H. A Mathematician's Apology. Cambridge, England: Cambridge
University Press, 1940.
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, pp. 34-37.
Baeyer, Hans Christian. Rainbows, Snowflakes and Quarks.
New York: 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.
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.
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,