Ian Davis


New Jersey, USA
In the paintings of Ian Davis nothing seems to be left to chance. Everything is carefully constructed and of geometrical order. The architecture, as well as the crowds of people, become parts of a system where all individuality has been banned. Although the titles of the works introduce various topics, the closed up indoor spaces with clone-like male figures lead to associations with totalitarian regimes. The men working, standing, waiting, or eating, are caught in structures of form. They become the form themselves often so distant that one has problems to identify them as human beings at all.

Ian Davis’s work reminds one of the photographical work of Andreas Gursky, in which the visual structure often dominates the real events shown in the pictures. Very similar to Gursky’s approach to his subjects, which are photographed from great distance, Davis seems to approximate the basic message of his artwork. It is about birth, rebirth and the process of life in general as indicated by symbols such as fountains or ladders. Ian Davis’s paintings are more like descriptions of today’s society than assertive statements. They are stories with an open end. Either the fountain will be turned back on or stay dry. Either the men begin to live an individual life and break the composed structures or they turn into robots and form more geometrical patterns without any function.




place & year of birth
1972, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

featured galleries
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education
2005
Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Residency & Fellowship Award

1994
BFA, Arizona State University


solo exhibitions
2009
Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York, NY

2007
Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York, NY

2006
The Great Divide, Acuna-Hansen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2000
Art One Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

1998
Eight Million Stones, New School for the Arts, Scottsdale, AZ
Art One Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ

group exhibitions
2009
I Thought Our Worlds Were The Same, Zeitgeist Gallery, Nashville, TN

2008
The Freedom Centre, Hales Gallery, London, UK
Maritime: Ships, Pirates, and Disasters, The Contemporary Art Galleries, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
Utopia/Dystopia, Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, NY
The Colonial Show, The Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, VA

2007
Works from the Permanent Collection, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS
Sheldon Survey: An Invitational, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln, NE
Block Party II, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2006
25 BOLD MOVES, House of Campari, Los Angeles, CA
Reality Effect, Santa Ana College, Santa Ana CA

2005
Acuna-Hansen Gallery, Los Angeles CA

2004
Miscegenation, The Chocolate Factory, Phoenix, AZ
Merry/Peace, Sideshow, Brooklyn, NY
Born in the U.S.A., Galerie Art One, Zurich, Switzerland

2003
GRA Gallery, NY, NY
Fugitive Art Space, Nashville, TN

bibliography
“The Approval Matrix,” New York Magazine, March 23, 2009
“Art Miami,” New York Post, September 18, 2008
“Ian Davis,” Flavorpill, February13-19, 2007, Issue #349
“The Disappearance of the Spiritual Thinker,” Tricycle, Spring 2007, p. 62-67
The New York Times Magazine, May 20, 2007, p. 52
Amy, Michaël. “Ian Davis at Leslie Tonkonow,” Art in America, October, 2007
Baker, R.C.. “Best in Show: Ian Davis,” The Village Voice, February 14- 20, 2007, p.57
Catlin, Roger. “Pirates, Wrecks and Storm-Tossed Seas,” The Hartford Courant, October 30, 2008
Cochran, Samuel. “Ian Davis,” Elle Decor, October 2008
Hudson, Suzanne. “Ian Davis ,” Artforum, May 2007
Krainak, Michael J. “Sheldon Survey: An Invitational,” www.ereview.org, February 2008
Kathman, Ryan. “Sheldon Survey,” Omaha City Weekly, November 21-27, 2007
Larkin, Daniel. “On Climate,” ArtCal, http://zine.artcal.net/2008/08/on-climate.php, August 26, 2008
Smith, Roberta. “Art in Review: Ian Davis –Paintings, “ The New York Times, March 2, 2007