Karin Davie is a leading artist in the current wave of painting practices transforming the legacy of high modernism to capture the dynamics of contemporary life. Known for her exuberant curvilinear abstractions and undulating “stripes” suggesting body forms, Davie expands the notion of what was once described as the “self” in painting. Informed in part by Post modernist choreographers such as Trisha Brown, Davie’s work highlights the performance aspect of painting. Her emphasis on seemingly long unbroken brushstrokes mimics her processes evoking a dynamic study of the body, stamina, and memory. Other groups of work, such as the early private performance photographs, sculpture, drawings and multimedia pieces, all offer different views into to the conceptual and aesthetic concerns that drive Davie’s practice.
Davie was born in Toronto, Canada in 1965. She received her BFA degree from Queen’s University, Ontario and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Davie was the subject of a major retrospective at the Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo in 2006. Other presentations of her work include: Chart Gallery, New York NY (2021); Inman Gallery Houston TX (2018); the Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA (2016-17); Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC (2014); Diaz Contemporary, Toronto (2012-13); Seattle Art Museum (2012); Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada (2012); The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut (2008); Museum of Modern Art, NY ( 1998). Davie has been a visiting lecturer at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia and her work has been written about in publications including Painting Abstraction: New Elements in Abstract Painting, Art in America, Art Forum, ARTnews, MOMA Magazine, and Paper Magazine. She lives and works in Seattle.