Ian Davenport was born in Sidcup in London, and studied art at the Northwich College of Art and Design in Cheshire before going to Goldsmiths College from where he graduated in 1988. In the same year he exhibited in the Damien Hirst-curated Freeze (exhibition) exhibition which brought together many of the so-called Young British Artists. Davenport’s first solo show was in 1990 and in the same year he was included in the British Art Show. In 1991 he was nominated for the Turner Prize.
Many of Davenport’s works are made by pouring paint onto a tilted surface and letting gravity spread the paint over the surface. He has usually worked on medium density fibreboard rather than canvas, and most often employs household gloss paint, meaning the viewer can see their own reflection in the work. He has made a number of diptychs and triptychs as well as single works.
For the Days Like These exhibition at Tate Britain in 2003, Davenport made a thirteen-metre high mural by dripping lines of differently coloured paint down the wall from a syringe. In September 2006 he unveiled his largest public commission to date on Southwark Bridge entitled ‘Poured Lines: Southwark’.
“His large-scale wall paintings are made using a syringe to pour paint, in vertical stripes, from the top edge to the floor. The painting process is formal and repetitive, like a scientific experiment, but the final image contains irregularities, where the paint is diverted by the wall surface, and surprises, where particular colour combinations create unexpected visual results.”
Davenport’s use of dripped paint and gravity has been compared to similar techniques employed by Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis in the 1950s and 1960s. Other possible influences on his work include Jackson Pollock and Bridget Riley. His work is exhibited in London at Waddington Galleries and The Alan Cristea Gallery, and the Ingleby Gallery in Edinburgh. (wikipedia)
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