Waddington Custot is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by British artist Ian Davenport, shown in the UK for the first time. The works presented in the exhibition further extend Davenport’s career-long investigation of chance, colour and the innate qualities of paint. For the first time, works on paper will be shown at the gallery, offering a multi-faceted view of Davenport’s working process. The show in London coincides with a major new exhibition of Davenport’s work at Dallas Contemporary, opening in September 2018.
The main gallery space will house Davenport’s large-scale Puddle Paintings, which follow on from his 14-meter-wide installation at the 2017 Venice Biennale and introduce a sculptural element to the picture-plane. Using a schematic colour-palette, Davenport meticulously applies paint from a height, allowing it to ebb and flow in a single linear stroke, a process which is then repeated to form a landscape of colour. These new works, including ‘Mirrored Place’ (2017) and ‘Olympia’ (2018), also incorporate intricate and varying natural patterns as the paint pools at the bottom of the vertical panel in a physical extension of the painting.
Recently, Davenport has been interested in expanding his artistic dialogue by examining the flow of paint in more detail and investigating how to manipulate liquid acrylic to create more compositional variety and complexity. Davenport has found a method to pour a sheet of different colours together in one gesture. As he draws with the paint, often in a diagonal direction, the artist is experimenting with the expansion and contraction of line.
Contrasting with these methodological and rhythmical poured bands, Davenport’s Splat works on paper resemble explosive fireworks. The artist builds paint up in layers, obscuring and erasing each preceding mark to create energy and depth. The mark making is active and aggressive with passages of openness. The fallout from the paint’s impact as it hits the paper leaves residual traces and splinters of colour.