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


Davie’s paintings extend the tradition of gestural abstraction and combine it with optical styles rooted in the 1960s and 1970s. The works are concerned with the formal language of painting, and, at the same time, embody the deep physicality necessary for constructing each brushstroke. In Davie’s most recent series, like In Out, In Out, the artist has reshaped the looping, swirling stripe motif from her earlier works into rhythmic fields of wavy strokes. With an emphasis on color and unbroken mimetic gestures, Davie works to engage the viewer on both an optical and physical level.


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).