Gene Davis

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

Sky Hook


Acrylic and graphite on canvas

91 1/2 x 141 1/4 in. (232.4 x 358.9 cm)

Collection of the Akron Art Museum

Gift of Mary Jane and Shattuck Hartwell


More Information

Along with Morris Louis, Gene Davis is associated with the Washington Color School, a group of artists working in our nation’s capital from the 1950s who were distinguished for their interest in abstraction and adept use of acrylic paint on unprimed canvas. Davis, who was self-taught, is best known for horizontal and vertical canvases filled with opaque stripes that were part of his ongoing investigation of color. 'Sky Hook' is one of the series of “window paintings” that Davis began in 1977. Each of these compositions consists of a monochromatic field of stripes surrounded by a margin of another color. The artist brushed the stripes in relatively freely, allowing them to overlap and creating contrasting textures. Davis commented that he liked the suggestion of space created by the “picket-fence effect at the top and bottom,” continuing that “the canvas showing through carries the implication for me that this is a big theater curtain, behind which all kinds of mysterious things are happening.”


Signed, titled and dated on back in pencil

Contemporary Art