This suite of drawings was developed when I lived and worked in Manhattan 1990—1994. My studio, at the corner of 9th Avenue and 14th Street, was a thriving community of artists—including Glenn Goldberg, Judy Glantzman, Peter Schuyff and Stephen Mueller -- that worked on the same floor of a building in the Meat-Packing district. The environment and friends impacted me by virtue of daily conversations about work and a mutually engaged work ethic.
Interested in gesture and the conjoined forces of form and line, these pieces examine ideas involved in automatic mark-making and the free and unencumbered study of the lyric gesture. I have been interested for thirty years by an exploration of opposing elements, a dialectic if you will. I find that tension inspired and ignited further study in me. Oppositions allowed me an opportunity to resolve or surprise, depending on the outcome. These small sketches gave me great freedom by the character of their ephemeral scale. These sketches are the prequels to larger works.
The lyric nature of the meandering line lives within the square as an unresolved yet compelling figure that allows a free play of simple elements. The juxtaposition of a more solid bit of paint with the purely linear element of the line and the layering of elements led to picture that reflects an emotion, a quality, or even a virtue.
These pieces also were developed at a time when I had taken a long break from working in clay. They reflect a time of strict two-dimensional exploration that afforded me an opportunity to resolve and develop certain methods of mark-making and a develop a vocabulary that evolved into the work I currently do. These pieces contain an abstract narrative that continues into the present. Made in the early 90's, one sees early evidence of the dots that will play such a large role in my later work.
Mary Anne Davis