Ronald Davis in the studio at Tyler Graphics Ltd., Bedford Village, New York, 1974
Gift of Kenneth Tyler 2002
Photographer: Renate PONSOLD

Born in California in 1937, Ronald Davis attended the San Francisco Art Institute in the early 1960s. Known primarily for his geometric paintings, he extended his preoccupation with shapes and their spatial relationships to the print medium while working with Kenneth Tyler during the 1970s. At Tyler Graphics he explored the versatility of printmaking, working with both lithography and screen printing to create mixed-media prints on exquisite handmade papers.

These works are typical of Davis, with brightly coloured shapes suspended in a Renaissance style perspectival frame.
Emilie Owens

Further reading


Born in Santa Monica, California, United States of America

Studies engineering at University of Wyoming, Laramie

Studies at San Francisco Art Institute; awarded grant to study at the Yale-Norfolk Summer School of Music and Art where he meets fellow student Philip Guston

Begins to exhibit at Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles, California

Solo exhibition, at Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York City, New York

Begins experimenting with sound compositions using Buchla series 100 synthesizer, the artist is already renowned for his series of snap-line paintings comprising several layers of cast polyester resin on a fibreglass base. Included in Exhibition of contemporary painting, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City

Receives National Endowment for the Arts grant

Included in Biennial exhibition, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Biennial exhibition,Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City; West Coast 1945–1969, originating at Pasadena Art Museum (now the Norton Simon Museum of Art)

Completes Cube series at Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles; solo exhibition, at Pasadena Art Museum; included in exhibitions: Art and technology, at Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Technics and creativity: Gemini G.E.L., at Museum of Modern Art, New York City

Included in Venice biennale, Italy

Completes intaglio prints at Tyler Workshop Ltd., Bedford Village, New York including editions Arch, Bent beam, Big open box, Pinwheel, Diamond, Stripe, Upright, Slab

Retrospective exhibition, Ronald Davis: paintings, 1962–1976, at Oakland Museum, California

Included in exhibition, Art off the picture press, at Emily Lowe Gallery, Hofstra University, Hampstead, New York

Completes several editions at Tyler Graphics Ltd., Bedford Village involving papermaking, screenprinting and lithography. Editions include: Arc arch, Invert span, Twin wave and Wide wave

Included in exhibition, American painting of the 1970s, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Included in exhibition, Art in Los Angeles: seventeen artists in the sixties, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California

Included in exhibitions, Prints from Tyler Graphics, at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota; Gemini G.E.L.: art and collaboration, at National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Begins using computers to design works of art

Solo exhibition, Ronald Davis: paintings 1962–1976, Oakland Museum of California; included in travelling exhibition, First Impressions: early prints by forty-six contemporary artists, originating at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Returns to painting in encaustic wax

Solo exhibition, Ronald Davis: forty years of Abstraction, Butler Institute Museum of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio

Solo exhibition, Ronald Davis: the music series 1983–1985,at Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, New Mexico

Solo exhibition, Pixel dust paintings 2005, at New Gallery-Thom Andriola, Houston, Texas; included in exhibition, Driven to Abstraction: Southern California and the non-objective world 1950–1980, at Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, California

Solo exhibitions: Ronald Davis: five decades: past and present, at Electric Works, San Francisco, California; 3D/CG: Ronald Davis,at Eight Modern, Santa Fe, New Mexico; included in travelling exhibition, Colour as field: American painting 1950–75, originating at Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado; included in exhibition, Breaking the mould: selections from the Washington Gallery of Modern Art 1961–1968, at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Solo exhibition, Paintings 1966–2007, at New Gallery-Thom Andriola, Houston, Texas

Included in exhibitions: California calling: works from Santa Barbara collections 1948–2008, at Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California; Hopper curates: Larry Bell, Ron Cooper, Ronald Davis, Ken Price and Robert Dean Stockwell, at Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, New Mexico

Solo exhibitions: Ronald Davis: monochrome painting from the 1960s, at Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York; Ronald Davis: squares and diamonds 2010, at Charlotte Jackson Fine Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Included in exhibition, Pacific Standard Time: crosscurrents in L.A. painting and sculpture 1950–1970, at J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California

Solo exhibition, Ronald Davis, at Hulse Warman Gallery, Taos, New Mexico

Ronald Davis currently lives and works in Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico

Barbara Delano © Tyler Graphics Ltd., revised Kate Buckingham, 2006; revised Julia Greenstreet, 2013

This chronology provides an overview of selected biographical information, major solo and group exhibitions held within the artist's own lifetime.

Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated January 2017