Wetterling Gallery is proud to present the exhibition Karin Davie: New paintings and Drawings by the Canadian artist Karin Davie. The exhibition includes 4 large scale drawings and 6 diptych paintings.
Davie is most well known for her anthropomorphic “Op-art” stripe paintings and gestural bodily abstractions, that explore process, movement, and repetition transforming the legacy of Modernism to capture the dynamics of contemporary life. The wave has become her signum working with it as both a form and metaphor for a disturbance or turbulence but also renewal. Waves move as nothing stays constant.
In the exhibition two groups of works are presented. The large-scale drawings In Out, In Out, no 1,2,3,7 Redux (Single) engage with repetition, memory and gesture and are a re-examination of an older image Davie did in the 90s. Evocative of the human body, it can be perceived as a collapsing compressed form or one that appears too big for its container. In these works, the Modernist “stripe” traditionally associated with hard edge painting or Op Art, has become sensual, anthropomorphic and more representational.
In the diptych paintings titled Shape of a Fever and Down My Spin, the canvases wavy side edges function as a cartooned version of the paintings wavy brush strokes and give the work a slight discontinuity. It suggests a give and take of uneasy harmony with no easy answer over whether the literal or the pictorial has the upper hand. Davie writes:
“For me, it’s about creating an evocative image, using repeating gestures that have a specificity, sensuality, and spontaneity, but which are also somewhat restrained and don’t slip into being purely process driven, or purely optical. I want to create images that expose the self and body while alluding to the figure and landscape - or looking at the figure as a landscape, with the landscape being inside the body. “
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, NYC, NY (2021) 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, The New Yorker, New York Times, Canadian Art, Border Crossings, MOMA Magazine, and Paper Magazine. She lives and works in Seattle.