Ronald Davis, and his life-size optical illusion
Ronald Davis, a.k.a. Ron Davis (born 1937), is an American painter whose work is associated with geometric abstraction, abstract illusionism, lyrical abstraction, hard-edge painting, shaped canvas painting, color fieldpainting, and 3D computer graphics. He is a veteran of nearly seventy solo exhibitions and hundreds of group exhibitions. Since the late 1960s, Ronald Davis has been an important figure in the world of abstract art. Using a painting style incorporating the freedom of Jackson Pollock, the spatial perspective of the Renaissance, and the precision of Piet Mondrian, Davis became known for his illusionary qualities which were previously missing within abstract art. Employing new technologies of the time, Davis became a master of geometric perspective, paint handling, color, and space. His style evolved from hard-edged, optical paintings to geometric, illusionistic paintings, using polyester resin and fiberglass. He later explored sound sculpture, silkscreening, lithography, etching, papermaking, a return to acrylic painting and computer-based painting. Davis makes apt analogies between the materials and techniques of traditional painting and the digital tools of graphic imaging. His recourse to modeling, texturing, and rendering software with a mouse and a keyboard requires the same artistic decision making as a traditional painter’s deployment of conventional perspective, modeling, brushwork, and finishing of the painted surface. If the comparison breaks down on formal grounds, it breaks in favor of the digital image. Its technology enables the artist to realize desired qualities of color and light at a level far superior to what can be achieved with hand-applied techniques and organic, volatile, and perishable mediums. Davis has numerous exhibitions to his name, including both solo shows and group exhibitions. His work has been exhibited in galleries, such as the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, CA, and the New Orleans Museum of Modern Art in City Park, NO. Some of his artwork continues to be displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY, and at the Tate Gallery in London, England. He continues to reside on his ranch in Arroyo Hondo, NM.