Karin Davie, a Toronto-born New Yorker, has been making gestural color-charged paintings since the early 1990s. Her body of work includes obvious references to Morris Louis, Eduard Munch, Jackson Pollack, Bridget Riley and Gerhard Richter. Less obvious influences include the opening frame of a Looney Tunes cartoon, Ingres's The Great Odalisque, and various photographs taken by Davie.
She tends to work on a series of pieces for several months or years and then moves on to doing another style of work for her next grouping. Within a series, the palate may change as well as the scale but after studying Davie's paintings one could easily group them properly. The early series were dominated by diptychs. The interest in diptychs was a reference to physical repetition similar to muscle memory. It was remarkable how well she could duplicate a gestural painting.
The irony of Davie being known for her paintings is that when she left the Rhode Island School of Design she had stopped painting completely. This was due to a "relentlessly hostile" climate toward painting at the school. However in 1989, when Davie arrived in New York she saw works by Moira Dryer, Mary Heilman and the sculptor Charlie Ray who inspired her early work. She was once again influenced to paint.
Davie tells us that the next body of work will be an exciting new series of paintings in conjunction with sculptural multi-media work. This would be a continuation of her last show at Mary Boone.
Recent acquisitions of Davie's work include the Oppenheimer Collection at the Nerman Museum in Kansas City, the new Marmotti Collection in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and the New Contemporary Wing designed by Frank Gehry at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Upcoming projects include a 2008 show at the Aldrich Museum in Ridgefield, CT. She will also be featured in the November issue of Elle Decor Magazine.
Availability of Work
Karin Davie is not currently affiliated with a gallery in New York. This will change soon. Her work does come up at auction most seasons. The pieces tend to be those from the pre-2003 series. There are a few recent paintings available as well. The sizes range from 2'x3' to 8'x9'. Karin makes about 20 paintings a year.
Contrary to what we've noticed with many artists' prices, Davie's auction results tend to be higher than the primary market. Small paintings (2'x3') have gone for $45,000 at auction and large dyptichs have fetched $120,000. New paintings are priced between $40,000 and $100,000.