Maggie davis

Storytelling has always had a role in art, from the earliest cave paintings to contemporary realism. As long as there has been an identifiable image the potential for creating a narrative is present no matter the subject of the work.

Kandinsky was the first to recognize the potential of abstraction as a way to connect people to their feelings. He aligned his painting practice with the equally abstract role of music suggesting that color, shape, line and texture could generate similar emotional responses. Many of his early compositions were titled as musical works.

In 2009 while I was trying to solve a large-scale painting on canvas that was covered in competing color and marks, I discovered the narrative potential of abstraction. By scaling down the work I found myself imagining the interaction of marks, color and texture in the smaller works as a conversational process. I saw a parallel to the relational aspects of living life in general and how small narratives could be created with abstract elements.

My painting practice focuses on the narrative potential of abstraction.  The compositions are constructed to imply relationships across the surface and through an ambiguous and fluctuating space. Exchanges between and among elements take place in a lively relational debate. Tension between the small vignettes and the overall painting confounds a rational reading of the work.

Lush vibrant color operates against a ground that fluctuates irrationally. Unexpected spatial shifts challenge readabilty and serve to open the mind to other possibilities. 

Maggie Davis graduated with a B.F.A. from Florida International University in 1975. Later receiving her M.F.A. from the University of South Florida in 1977.