Black Grey Beat

Media - 1980.6.15 - SAAM-1980.6.15_2 - 124026
Copied Gene Davis, Black Grey Beat, 1964, acrylic on canvas, 90 34187 in. (230.5475.0 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift from the Vincent Melzac Collection, 1980.6.15

Artwork Details

Black Grey Beat
Not on view
90 34187 in. (230.5475.0 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift from the Vincent Melzac Collection
Mediums Description
acrylic on canvas
  • Abstract — geometric
Object Number

Artwork Description

The Museum of Modern Art included Black Grey Beat in a groundbreaking 1965 exhibition The Responsive Eye. The curator, William Seitz, placed Davis among the color imagists [who] are poetic, even romantic in approach," freely choosing bold colors for their "billboards."

Gene Davis: Hot Beat, 2016
Publication Label

Color Field Painting emerged in the United States in the 1950s. The movement is characterized by pouring, staining, spraying, or painting thinned paint onto raw canvas to create vast expanses of color. These works — by artists such as Gene Davis, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and Jules Olitski — are considered crowning achievements of postwar American abstract art. Washington, DC, washome home to a number of these artists who became known as the Washington Color School. The Smithsonian American Art Museum has one of the largest collections of Color Field painting in the world.

Smithsonian American Art Museum: Commemorative Guide. Nashville, TN: Beckon Books, 2015.