Ian Davenport

Ian Davenport was born in Kent, England, in 1966. He graduated from Goldsmiths College of Art, London, in 1988 and as one of the generation of Young British Artists; he participated in the seminal 1988 exhibition Freeze. In 1991 he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize, for which he remains the youngest ever nominee, and in 1999 was a prize winner in the John Moores Exhibition, Liverpool. Two years after graduating Davenport had his first solo show at Waddington Galleries, London, in 1990.  

Davenport is driven by an enduring fascination with the materiality and process of painting and printmaking. His abstract paintings are made by pouring and dripping household paint onto prepared canvases, boards and aluminium panels, tilted so that gravity and the consistency of the paint determine the final composition. . This approach both systematic and random, predetermining both materials and process, results in paintings whose effect is based on physical immediacy rather than any theoretical background. Over the past ten years he has turned his attention to screenprinting and etching, building up an impressive body of graphic work.

Davenport has exhibited extensively across the world, including major institutional shows at Dundee Contemporary Arts (1999); Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2004) and Tate Liverpool (2000). He has completed major commissions including Poured Lines: Southwark Street, London (2006), a 48 metre wide painting on a bridge which is one of the largest permanent public artworks in the UK. At the 2017 Venice Biennale he presented an installation of over 1,000 stripes, a commission by Swatch, together with a Swatch Art special watch. In 2016 he hand-painted a series of porcelain plates in collaboration with Meissen, commissioned by South London Gallery, designed a special edition bag for Christian Dior's Lady Art project. In 2010 he completed a residency programme at The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Connecticut, USA. 

His work is held in important museum collections including, Arts Council of Great Britain; Tate, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; National Museum Wales, Cardiff; Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal; Museum of Modern Art, La Spezia; Borusan Art Gallery, Istanbul; Museum of Modern Art, New York and Dallas Museum of Art, Texas. The first monograph of his work was published by Thames & Hudson in 2014. 

Davenport is the subject of a forthcoming major survey exhibition at Dallas Contemporary in September 2018. 

Alan Cristea Gallery is the exclusive worldwide representative for Ian Davenport's original prints. 

Ian Davenport lives and works in London.  

Installations

Films

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Ian Davenport: Fabstraction

A short film exploring a major body of etchings and monoprints by British artist Ian Davenport, made for his 2009 exhibition, Fabstraction (4 March - 17 April 2009).

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