Larry Jon Davis | Visions in Oil and Cold Wax
September 5 – October 31, 2019
Larry J. Davis, a native Iowan, grew up in Clinton, Iowa along the Mississippi River. After attaining a BA in Fine Art at the University of Iowa he completed a four-year tour with the USAF in England before returning to the Midwest to begin his professional arts career. In 1986 Davis moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where he took a position at what is now Florida State College at Jacksonville, serving as both a full-time Professor of Art and for many years as art department coordinator. During this time he finished Masters Degree studies at Jacksonville University while also pursuing an active artistic output and exhibition schedule. His 2010 retirement from academia saw a long-awaited return to full-time studio activity. The 2012 relocation of Davis Studio to Knoxville, IL was an opportunity to reunite with the Midwest culture and landscape that has long been inspiring to the artist.
My undergraduate art experience in the 1960s at the University of Iowa, as well as later graduate study there, left me with an appreciation for both realistic and abstracted art. While I still use both approaches, the bulk of my current production is in oil/cold wax and is in an abstracted manner. Many of my abstracted landscape paintings and drawings feature high horizons that allude to distant prairie or coastal vistas, while still allowing pictorial space to explore the intervening colors, shapes and textures of the ground plane downward to the viewer’s feet. Later oil paintings trend toward a more complex surface through the inclusion of cold wax techniques. 50 years of figure drawing also exerts a strong influence on the organic motifs in many of my works.
This selection of my recent paintings is comprised of a combination of both Impressionistic and Abstract Expressionist interpretations of landscape, still life and figurative subjects. In the last few years I’ve concentrated on using oil paints, along with cold wax, to achieve complex color and textural results, primarily on cradled panels. Some of the works also combine charcoal and oil sticks to enhance the importance of drawing as the fundamental tool in the finished work.
Having grown up in Clinton, IA it goes unsaid that I have a reverence for the inspiring landscape, flora and fauna of Jackson, Clinton and Dubuque Counties. I hope this shows up in some of the newest works created for this exhibition.