Fellow: Awarded 2015
Field of Study: Fine Arts
Competition: US & Canada
Stephen Davis works in Galisteo, NM and Pecos, TX. Since 1971 he has persistently taken the elements and language of painting apart and put them together again to find a new structure for his painting. For this he has been awarded three National Endowment for the Arts grants, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Pollock-Krasner, Joan Mitchell, George Sugarman, and two Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation grants. He was the curator of two important sculpture exhibitions: Moved, a large show of sculptures involving an active viewer and George Sugarman, an overview of Sugarman's work. Both were presented at the Hunter College Art Galleries in New York City. His work is in the collections of LA MOCA, the San Francisco Museum of Art, UC Berkeley Art Museum, the El Paso Museum of Art, and others.
Davis would like to thank his friend and fellow Guggenheim recipient Mowry Baden for alerting him early on to the active relationship of our physical bodies and cognition.
Some notes: Relatively complete local events act on each other (and a viewer) by difference. The parts act against each other, pulling apart, coming together, pulling apart. The tension among the parts must be felt. The image of a chair is an anchor, even though absent. To make a world in paint, in flux, but physically present. The painting coheres, yet flies apart. A viewer is the synapse that makes the category shifts in the painting cohere, feel whole.