I wouldn't recommend it to a dog."
not Ron Davis' own opinion; he's quoting prominent
San Francisco (sic)
[Los Angeles] painter Ed Moses.
path for Davis to San Francisco and its famed art institute was a longish
one. Born in Santa Monica, Calif., in 1937, he was reared in Wyoming,
where he attended the University of Wyoming as an engineering student.
He also worked as a sheet metal mechanic for a couple of years.
up in Wyoming," explains Davis, "I was completely unaware of serious
painting. I was struggling . . . I'd done a few Sunday afternoon kinds
of paintings." But like that other artist from Wyoming, Jackson
Pollock, Davis was deeply affected by the big sky, the space of
the West. And
although he did spend a period at the Yale-Norfolk Summer School,
he's a confirmed Westerner.
continues yarning, for which he displays a decided talent: "I thought
it would be great to go to Mexico, to the beach and paint and starve." However,
his father sideswiped this romantic plan by agreeing to send him to
art school. Via the one artist he knew at the time, he was aware of
the San Francisco Art Institute, and there he went, to plunge into
the heady and immensely yeasty world of the 1960s.
he met Nicholas Wilder, who opened a gallery on La Cienega (gallery
row) in Los Angeles. Davis also had a show at the Leo Castelli
Gallery in New York City, and that's when the museums began to notice
Davis' work is now in the Los Angeles County Museum, Museum of
Modern Art in New York City, Tate Gallery in London, the Art Institute
Chicago, Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Wallraff-Richartz
Museum in Cologne, Germany – among many others.
living in Malibu for 16-some years, Davis got tired of the mud slides
and the traffic. "I was burnt out," he said succinctly. A friend had
moved to Arroyo Hondo and turned Davis on to the area. He came here
in1990 and began building a complex of six living and studio buildings,
based upon a Navajo hogan design. Collaborating with architect Dennis
Holloway and anthropologist Charley Cambridge, he discovered the relationship
between the hogan's corbeled dome and work Davis had conducted previously.
He built a number of hogan frame "Spirit House" log sculptures and
showed a model of the large Hondo hogan in Los Angeles in 1993.
not painting, Davis does three-dimensional graphics and has his own
internet Web site at www.abstract-art.com.
new series, "Wax Series: Encaustic on Wood," using beeswax and
pigment on shaped wood constructions, continues his preoccupation
as an illusion of an object," a style he calls "abstract illusionism." An
exhibit of this work opened Friday (Jan. 23, 1997) at the attractive
new Jaquelin Loyd Gallery in Ranchos Plaza.