Ian Davenport, ‘Cadmium Yellow and Purple’, 2020, acrylic on aluminium mounted onto aluminium panel,
101.6 x 101.6 cm.
Waddington Custot launches NEW WORK, an online platform debuting painting and sculpture by leading
contemporary artists working today. The initiative begins with a series of dedicated solo exhibitions opening at intervals throughout the summer. A recently completed body of work by London-based artist Ian
Davenport kicks off the programme, opening 26th May 2020.
NEW WORK: Ian Davenport features four ‘Puddle Paintings’, which continue the artist’s celebrated
exploration of colour. Central to Davenport’s practice is his choice of palette and unconventional methods in his application of paint. The colour combinations in this series directly reference paintings by French artist Pierre Bonnard, which Davenport encountered at the 2019 exhibition ‘Pierre Bonnard: The Colour of Memory’ at Tate Modern. Working in particular response to ‘Nude in the Bath’, 1936, Davenport’s paintings explore Bonnard’s continually shifting colour palette, choreographing complex colour variations between yellow, grey, purple and blue.
Once his palette is decided, Davenport applies individual colours of acrylic paint to the top end of his
aluminium surface. As the lines of paint fall in dripped vertical columns, they move into one another, creating a particular visual effect. Davenport comments, ‘it is hard to have a fixed view of Bonnard’s painting as one’s eye travels around the surface of the canvas, alighting on the different flickering colours and hues’. Davenport similarly combines the colours within his selected palette in such a way that they merge and blend, appearing to pulsate and contract in front of the viewer.
Upon reaching the base of the composition the paint channels pool, twisting and swirling as each colour is free to find its own route through the others. Evident in these works is Davenport’s careful attention to process, and his interest in the resulting composition when the paint is given an agency of its own, beyond control of the artist.
NEW WORK: Ian Davenport runs at Waddington Custot online from 26th May and will be followed by NEW
WORK: David Annesley, featuring four unseen sculptures by the octogenarian artist, who has recently
returned to making work after a long hiatus. Annesley’s first solo exhibition was held at the Waddington
Galleries over fifty year ago, in 1966.
Produced and programmed in response to an unusual set of global circumstances, NEW WORK does not
adhere to a central theme, allowing each artist to pursue their projects and preoccupations without
restriction. This approach takes into consideration the need for artists to adapt and reconfigure their
established processes, transforming perceived limitations into creative opportunities.
In a spirit of optimism for the gallery to reopen this summer, and in support of the belief that the best
possible way to experience and appreciate painting and sculpture is to see it in person, the works will be installed at the Cork Street premises of Waddington Custot, ready for an eventual opening for visitors.
About The Artist
Ian Davenport (b. 1966, Sidcup, Kent) is an abstract painter recognised for his complex colour compositions and whose work is informed by a deep understanding and enjoyment of paint. Since graduating from Goldsmiths’ College of Art in 1988, Ian Davenport has experimented with everyday tools such as watering cans, electric fans and nails, designed to exercise and limit his manipulation of paint. Davenport received early recognition participating in Freeze, a student-curated exhibition at the Surrey Docks in London Docklands in 1988, which exhibited the work of Goldsmiths’ students who would later come to be loosely known as the ‘YBA’s’ (Young British Artists). Only two years after graduation, Davenport had his first solo exhibition at Waddington Galleries in 1990, and in the same year, his work was included in The British Art Show, touring to Leeds City Art Gallery and Hayward Gallery, London. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1991, and in 1999, was awarded the John Moores Painting Prize. Davenport has been the subject of numerous exhibitions worldwide, with solo museum shows at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and Tate Liverpool. His work is held in important museum collections throughout the world, including Tate, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; National Museum Wales, Cardiff; Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal; and Dallas Museum of Art, Texas. In 2017, Davenport was invited to produce a pavilion for the 57th Venice Biennale for Swatch. Davenport painted the large-scale installation ‘Giardini Colourfall’ and, to coincide with this, designed the limited edition watch ‘Wide Acres of Time’. He has received numerous commissions for public installations, most notably by Southwark Council to produce ‘Poured Lines: Southwark Street’, a 48 metre long painting which was completed in 2006 as part of the regeneration of Bankside. Davenport has explored different mediums through his commissions, such as a hand-painted series of porcelain plates in collaboration with Meissen, commissioned by South London Gallery in 2016. In November of the same year, Davenport designed a special edition bag for Christian Dior’s Lady Art project.