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13 Nov

Theory is a bit dull

Do you break the rules and question what you're told? Color theory is all good, but it's a bit dull. There's a lot of history to learn from, but it shouldn't be used as a rule book. To Ian Davenport, in art rules can be changed, so do it. Colors and light, like food, are more about our senses than our rationale so sticking to the rules of color theory isn't necessarily appropriate. Painters have less room to play than for example sculpturers who have much more materials to use. But in the 21st century painters have much more materials to choose from that enable them to experiment with surfaces. And Ian wants to explore them. Ian mixes his paints, using acrylics, lacquers and other industrial materials to experiment and find the best consistencies for his paintings. His paints drip along the surface and puddle at the bottom. He needs to make paint flow properly over the canvas or other surfaces he uses and to create puddles at the end and this can't be done with just any paint. In this way his paintings become very physical.


Above: Poured Lines: Southwark Street, 2006, Vitreous enamel on steel panels, 3 x 48 m, Commissioned by Southwark Council and Land Securities and installed under Southwark Street Bridge, London, © Ian Davenport, courtesy Waddington Custot Galleries, London

Below: Puddle Painting: Green, Pink, Grey (after Carpaccio 'The Sermon of Stephan'), 2011, 78 3/4 x 118 in (3 panels) / 200 x 300 cm (3 panels), acrylic paint on stainless steel, mounted on aluminium panel, © Ian Davenport, courtesy Waddington Custot Galleries, London



Less is more. Ian Davenport simplifies his use of color, being monochromatic and multi-colored at the same time. He chooses to use creamy colors, and his colors are carefully made to acchieve the right nuance. They're impossible to pin down. He has to explore different colors values next to eachother on color sketches to find the right sequences for his pieces before he actually starts working on the final piece. He's also inspired by older paintings (see above), trying to keep the feel of the original painting through only it's colors. And to show contrast he experiments with matt versus glossy effects. Experimenting, abandoning the cause in his approach, can be scary. You have to believe in serendipity to do it.


Below: Puddle Painting: Green (after Holbein), 2010,  size 48 1/2 x 38 1/2 in / 123 x 98 cm, acrylic on stainless steel, mounted on aluminium panel, © Ian Davenport, courtesy Waddington Custot Galleries, London



Below: Prismatic Analogue, 2011, Diptych monoprinted etching on Hahnemuhle Bright White 300gsm, Paper 199.5 x 193.0 cm / Image 181.5 x 177.0 cm, © Ian Davenport, courtesy Alan Cristea Gallery, London

DAVE PrismaticAnalogue 1


Below: Puddle Painting: Black with Broad Lines No.2, 2011, 40 1/2 x 31 in / 103 x 79 cm, acrylic on aluminium mounted on aluminium frame, © Ian Davenport, courtesy Waddington Custot Galleries, London



Below: Puddle Painting: Flat White, 2011, 40 1/2 x 31 1/8 in / 103 x 79 cm, acrylic paint on aluminium, mounted on aluminium panel, © Ian Davenport, courtesy Waddington Custot Galleries, London


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Color Objects encourages you to get a better eye and appreciation for colors and characters. To get a special selection of pics and info for you, we find designers and artists that make colorful work from all over the world. There's a lot of character in colors, and having a closer look will change your view of the world and people around you. So we share a host of pics and info from design, art, cultures and the natural world. All about colors.

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