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Homage to Noah Davis

In an interview of Noah Davis by Shelley Wade, Davis answers the cheeky question, “Do you prefer artist or artiste?” with the answer, “Painter.”

While painting this series, I had Noah Davis’s book open the whole time. I began each session by staring at my favorite paintings and ended each session, flipping through the pages one more time. As I prepared for this show, I looked for something to bring the collection together in a cohesive theme, but I realized I was simply thinking about the figure as a painter. Davis’s paintings had a tremendous amount of meaning and intent. He had a mission and was representing a community, and that is one of the reasons I appreciate his work. However, what draws me to look at his work over and over again, is his mastery of paint. I appreciate how he uses color to stretch and flatten the figure into the frame of the canvas. I enjoy how the structures within his paintings are solid and architectural but then he’ll eliminate part of it with brush strokes or drip marks and you are made aware again that this is a painting. His marks are loose but intentional. His choice of shapes brings awareness to the medium and the surface. This series of paintings is my attempt to pay attention to Noah Davis as a painter and to learn to be a better painter.

You can see purchase paintings from this series at SF City Art Gallery through the month of March. 

Nancy 2024

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