Gene Davis: Hot Beat

November 17, 2016 – April 2, 2017

Gene Davis, Hot Beat, 1964, Smithsonian American Art Museum

Smithsonian American Art Museum
8th and F Streets, NW
Washington, DC

3rd Floor, North Floor Plan

Brightly colored stripes multiply in rhythmic repetitions across the surface of a painting by Gene Davis (1920-1985). Remarkably original when they first appeared in the 1960s, these paintings became the signature expression for one of the leading Color Field painters. With no more than a rectangular canvas and multicolor stripes, Davis created a richly varied body of work that looks as fresh today as it did when it first was shown. The large size of most of his canvases requires a viewer to consider the color relationships and rhythms over time, like a musical composition. This selection of fifteen classic stripe paintings by Gene Davis from the 1960s reveals the ambitious vision and accomplishment of one of Washington, D.C.’s outstanding visual artists.