Gene Davis

(Washington, D.C., United States, 1920 - 1985, Washington, D.C., United States)

Firecracker II


Acrylic on canvas

105 x 14 in. (266.7 x 35.6 cm)

Collection of the Akron Art Museum

Purchased with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the L. L. Bottsford Estate Fund


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An abstract artist from the start, Gene Davis began teaching himself to paint at age 29. Like the other artists in this gallery, he favored a precise, systematic approach. He drew lines and laid masking tape along them to ensure equal bands of color. To “enter” his striped works, Davis urged viewers to “select a specific color…and take the time to see how it operates across the painting.” His main interest, he said, was interval rather than color, “and one can define interval through space or through color or through both.”

Abstract art