Karin Davie (b. 1965) was born in Toronto, Canada and lives and works in Seattle, WA.

Davie is most well known for her gestural anthropomorphic “stripe” paintings that combine the ethos of 50s Ab Ex with optical styles rooted in the 60s. Her abstractions explore identity, process, movement, and repetition, transforming the legacy of Modernism to capture the dynamics of contemporary life. This practice, both conceptual and formal, weaves together aspects from the inside and the outside world to create a dynamic field of exchange between abstraction and representation. A hallmark of Davie’s work is the use of long unbroken mimetic gestures, the double image, and uniquely shaped canvases. As shown by her most recent series of work, In The Metabolic and While My Painting Gently Weeps, she continues to rigorously explore the formal language of painting with vigorous experimentation - a characteristic indicative of her work for the past 33 years. Her work playfully grounds the illusory ambiguous imagery in the object hood of the painting. Shaped configurations add a sculptural-like feature that departs from pictorial convention. In Davie’s work, the paradigmatic relationship between the shape and the pictorial image results in unpredictable outcomes. Her works are both optical and visceral. Glowing gestural fields in graduations of radiant color, virtually appear to move and undulate, vibrating across the painting’s surface or around the edge. They conjure irrepressible energies, anthropomorphic identities, and biological processes. These are evocative images with psychedelic overtones and autobiographical undertones - a recurring theme that runs through all of Davie’s work. 

The artist is a graduate of Queen’s University, Kingston, ON (BFA, 1987) and Rhode Island School of Design (MFA, 1989). Davie received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship Award (2015). Her work has been exhibited across North America and Europe, and was the subject of a mid-career survey at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo in 2006. Other notable presentations of her work include: The Rubell Family Museum, Miami, FL, and The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC (2015-2017), The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC (2014), Tate St. Ives International Contemporary Gallery, and Mead Gallery, University Of Warwick, UK (2011-2012), The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (2008), Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2008 and 2012), the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City (2007), Mary Boone Gallery, New York (1999, 2002, 2005 and 2007), Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm (2006 and 2011), SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico (2004), and Projects 63: Karin Davie, Udomsak Krisanamus, Bruce Pearson, Fred Tomaselli, The Museum of Modern Art, NY (1998).