Peter Davis has described an interest in producing an image through the removal of paint rather than its application, and his intention to make an expressive mark by means of a more or less mechanical process. Drawn to the authenticity of the abstract expressionist gesture yet skeptical of its current relevance, equally engaged by the more dispassionate works of minimal and conceptual abstract painters, Davis has found a way to take what he needs from both traditions.
The paintings are made on aluminum panels that have been sprayed and lacquered at an auto shop, each in a carefully chosen color. Upon this extremely smooth surface, Davis applies a layer of gloss paint in a second color, sometimes chosen for contrast to the first color, sometimes to subtly “tarnish” it. He pulls a wide flexible edge through the wet paint in one continuous stroke. By varying the pressure, he removes more or less paint and leaves a film of varying thickness. This process yields forms suspended in the striations left by the edge of the blade, often within narrow borders. The finished works oppose positive and negative, center and edge. They are extremely shiny; the colors richly saturated.
Born in 1972, Peter Davis graduated from Goldsmiths’ College in 1993. He exhibited with Karsten Schubert Gallery in London during the 1990s, more recently with Andrew Mummery and Asprey Jacques, and regularly with Slewe Gallery in Amsterdam. His works have been shown in group exhibitions at Galerie Lelong in Zurich (2004), the Hayward Gallery (2000) and Waddington Gallery (1995) in London. His paintings were included in the exhibition “Real Art. A New Modernism. British Reflexive Paintings in the 1990s” along with Ian Davenport, Jason Martin and Zebedee Jones at the Southampton City Art Gallery in 1995.