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Niagara Knife

Modern and Contemporary Art

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Niagara Knife

Artwork Details


Gene Davis
American, 1920–1985




Acrylic on canvas

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Currently Not on View


“My work is mainly about intervals . . . I can’t think of any more effective way to define interval than through breaking up rectilinear space with vertical stripes,” said Gene Davis. Niagara Knife is a prime example of Davis’s vision of vibrantly colored, repetitive narrow stripes that simultaneously blur and tantalize the eye’s focus with their careful patterning. The painting also takes on an expansive, environmental quality, pulsing with an energy akin to musical intervals and vibrations—a correlation noted by Davis himself, who acknowledged, “I am a frustrated musician . . . painting stripes with musical intervals may be a kind of unconscious compensation.”


Gift of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.