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Davis Art
2014 Catalog
art education curriculum
Artist Biographies
Select a letter below to see the biographies for artists
whose last names start with that letter.
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da Fabriano, Gentile (Italy, 1370-1427)
Gentile was the greatest Italian painter who worked in the International Style. This style is a blending of French and Italian Gothic styles. Gentile worked in tempera, and like the other artists of his time, he painted religious subjects. These paintings show great attention to details, including animals. His Adoration of the Magi hangs in the famed Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

da Fiesole, Mino (Italy, 1429-1484)
Da Fiesole's marble sculptures are portraits of Italians. Some are portraits of his neighbors in Florence. Others are based on Classical figures. His reliefs have common characteristics: flat, irregular folds in the fabric, clearly modeled features, and subjects extending into the marble frame.

da Vinci, Leonardo (Italy, 1452-1519)
Leonardo was an artist-genius. He was trained in Florence, Italy, which was one of the leading centers of the Renaissance. He was ahead of his time in painting, sculpture, and architecture. And he was also an expert in botany, geology, and engineering. During his life, Leonardo created ten thousand pages of drawings, notes, and sketches. Among his masterpieces are the mural The Last Supper and the portrait Mona Lisa

Darley, Claire (United States, b.1949)
Darley has been interested in landscapes and animals since childhood. She explores varied subjects, giving special attention to color and space with the intent to evoke an emotional response in the viewer.

Daumier, Honore (France, 1808-1879)
Daumier was first known for the thousands of drawings he created for the newspapers. He was even put into prison for his works, which often poked fun at politicians, lawyers, and judges. After 1848, Daumier began to paint. His Realist works from this period feature artists, musicians, circus workers, and people engaged in daily activities. The artist remained poor all his life and only exhibited his paintings a year before he died.

David, Jacques-Louis (France, about 1748-1825)
David became the most important painter in France during the rule of Napoleon. He traveled to Italy in 1775, where he drew and studied Classical sculpture. This helped him to develop a style that was clean, crisp, and hard-edged. David did not like any brushstrokes to be visible in his work. His paintings, which include Oath of the Horatii, were among the first history paintings. He also created some large portraits of Napoleon.

Davidson, Robert (Canada, b.1946)
Davidson, a Haida Indian, began carving stone when he was a teenager. He became an apprentice to Bill Reid, the master of Heida carving and metalwork. Davidson's jewelry and carvings are innovative variations on traditional Haida designs. As a young man, Davidson carved a 40-foot-tall totem pole, the first to be erected on his island in approximately 90 years.

Davis, Alexander Jackson (United States, 1803-1892)
Davis was founder of the American Institute of Architects and called himself an architectural composer. He designed many public buildings, including the Patent Office in Washington, D.C. and the state capitols of Indiana and North Carolina.

Davis, Ron (United States, b.1937)
To create his Op Art, Ron Davis began using contemporary materials like acrylics or polyester resins with fiberglass. He fused colors to the rear surface of fiberglass to create astonishing works of optical illusion. Plane Sawtooth is absolutely flat, but it appears three-dimensional. Its unframed, irregular shape, when placed on the wall, adds dramatically to the illusion of dimensionality. Even when the viewer gets close to the wall, it is difficult to visually flatten out the illusion because it is so convincing.

Davis, Stuart (United States, 1894-1964)
Stuart Davis developed an abstract style that formed the bridge between European Cubism and American Abstract Expressionism. From a series of experiments in color and shape, Davis finally developed a style of hard-edge abstraction that was clean, colorful, and personal. His works often reflected the words, numbers, shapes, and colors of urban life and advertising. Davis' titles are personal and not literal references to his paintings. Each work is to be enjoyed as seen and not for hidden meaning.

de Creeft, José (United States, 1884-1982)
De Creeft was born in Spain and moved to New York City in 1929. He worked in a variety of media-clay, metal, and wood-but preferred to carve stone. His favorite subjects were human figures and animals.

de Kooning, Elaine (United States, 1920-1989)
De Kooning was a member of the New York School of Abstract Expressionism. She explored ideas in painting and printmaking. She also wrote critiques about artwork created by her colleagues, including her husband, Willem de Kooning.

de Kooning, Willem (The Netherlands/United States, 1904-1997)
After painting realistically for many years, de Kooning leapt into Abstract Expressionism with great enthusiasm. His slashing brush strokes covered large canvases with color and tremendous action that became his subject matter. Because the emphasis is on the act of painting as part of the subject matter, such work was called Action Painting. Woman I is an excitement-packed painting slashed out at top speed. Like other Action Paintings, the image comes into and out of focus.

Degas, Edgar (France, 1834-1917)
Degas was interested in casual subjects and candid glimpses of people in action. He was a master of line and drawing, and his compositions are carefully arranged. Degas liked to explore the same theme over a period of time. He is best known for his many works that depict ballet dancers at rehearsal. A versatile artist, Degas created masterpieces in oil, pastel, and sculpture.

Delacroix, Eugene (France, 1798-1863)
The artist Delacroix became the leader of the Romantic movement in France after the death of Gericault. He produced thousands of oil paintings, sketches, and watercolors. He was also among the first artists to use photography to make studies for his oil paintings. Among Delacroix's greatest works are Liberty Leading the People and The Lion Hunt. His paintings are known for slashing brushstrokes, value contrast, and intense colors.

Demuth, Charles (United States/France, 1883-1935)
Charles Demuth was born in Pennsylvania, but moved to Paris. His early works were mostly Cubist watercolors of delicate, beautifully drawn houses, landscapes, grain elevators, acrobats, and circus performers. Later, he painted in oils and worked on a series that he called 'posters,' although they were not meant to be actual posters.

Derain, André (France, 1880-1954)
Derain was a member of the Fauves, a group of European painters who experimented with pure, unmixed color. He later went to England where he painted landscapes and London street scenes in simplified forms with bright colors. He also created sculptures of the human form in granite and bronze.

Diebenkorn, Richard (United States,1922-1994)
Diebenkorn was part of the second generation of Abstract Expressionists. Many of these painters turned from complete reliance on abstraction to representational subjects and figurative painting, but with expressive overtones. Diebenkorn combined reality with the expressive power and technique of the Abstract Expressionists. He developed a personal style that relied on design, but was still emotional in feeling.

Diller, Burgoyne (United States, 1906-1965)
Most of Diller's paintings and sculptures are geometric and abstract. They are vertical and horizontal compositions dominated by primary colors. Diller's later paintings included free-floating shapes connected by lines.

Disney, Walt (United States, 1901-1966)
Disney was an animation pioneer. Two of his most notable films are Steamboat Willie, the first animated film with sound (1928), and Snow White, the first full-length animated film (1938).

Donatello (Italy, 1386-1466)
Donatello was the greatest sculptor of the Early Renaissance. He created large sculptures in bronze and also in marble. His figures seem as if they could move, and he also paid careful attention to facial expressions. Donatello's work was influenced by ancient art. His David was the first life-size nude statue created since ancient times.

Doriani, William (United States, 1891-1958)
Doriani, a self-taught artist, was born in Moscow and came to the United States as a young man. He returned to Europe to study opera and became interested in painting folk art. His best known work, Flag Day, was inspired by the parade he saw on the day he returned to New York from Europe.

Dove, Arthur G. (United States, 1880-1946)
Dove began his career as an illustrator. After a visit to Europe, he developed a style of abstract art and became a leader of American abstract painting. He is best known for his interpretations of the moods and implied movements of natural forms.

Dubuffet, Jean (France, 1901-1985)
Dubuffet was fascinated by the art of children and others who painted with untrained abandon and energy. He created sculptures with a variety of materials and built up rough surfaces on his canvas with plaster, sand, cement, glue, and asphalt. His puzzle-like compositions often have recognizable subjects such as people, the city, or landscapes.

Duccio (Italy, active 1278-1319)
Duccio, who worked in Siena, Italy, lived before the beginning of the Renaissance. He is known for works that show a great amount of detail. Even in scenes that include crowds of people, Duccio made each face different. He also gave his paintings a sense of depth by overlapping bodies. Among the artist's best-known works is an altarpiece called the Maesta.

Duchamp, Marcel (France, 1887-1968)
Duchamp created what was probably the most controversial Cubist painting. His Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 brought him quickly to the attention of the public. Calling it an 'explosion in a shingle factory,' one critic forever made the painting famous. The painting depicts shingle-like shapes with not one image, but an entire series of movements. While viewers today understand that Duchamp was painting motion, the public in 1913 could not comprehend his form of art and, out of ignorance, laughed at the result.

Dufy, Raoul (France, 1877-1953)
Dufy was among a group of painters of the early twentieth century who explored the use of brilliant colors and unusual brushstrokes in paintings. Dufy frequently painted flowers, resorts, horse races, and landscapes. Much of his work has a decorative, lively quality.

Dumouchel, Albert (Canada, b.1916)
Dumouchel studied graphic arts and sculpture and later became a painter. His painting style evolved from studies of the work of many artists in Canada and Europe. His interest in complex patterns, textures and subtle colors can be seen in many works.

Dürer, Albrecht (Germany, 1471-1528)
Dürerr was the leading artist of the German High Renaissance. He was also the first European artist outside Italy to became internationally famous. Dürer had a strong sense of being an artist rather than a craftsperson. And he signed and dated his works, which was not common at the time. He is known for detailed oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, and prints that emphasize line. Among his best-known works is a series of self-portraits and a lifelike painting of a Young Hare. When he was older, Dürer devoted much time to writing and teaching.


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