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Featured in Surface Design Journal, Summer 2006

Within their deceptive simplicity, Davis’s works synthesize issues relevant to contemporary art and art history. Idioms of formalist art converge with those of traditional textiles. Seemingly casual geometry evokes phenomena of visual perception such as the illusion of multiple planes. As a play of intellectual and visual ideas, Davis’s work challenges definitions of both art and craft.
Excerpt from a review by Patricia Malarcher of "Constructed Canvases/Embedded Images" at the NOHO Gallery.

Featured in American Craft Magazine, April/May 2006

Cafe Red

Weaving “canvases” of fine linen
with embedded images, Davis
celebrates textile history and
debunks the hierarchical status
assigned to painting.

Excerpt from a feature article
by Pamela Scheinman

Excerpt from Virginia Davis, Portfolio Collection, Telos Art Publishing 2003

Tartan 3

Tartan 3, 3'x3'
Double ikat in handwoven linen

According to the artist, her themes fall into three categories: the exploration of optical phenomena, landscape, and weaving techniques. Her resulting art work is an ongoing discourse about color theory, the shared grid of minimalist painting and woven textiles, visual rhythm and repetition, human perception, the disparity between painted and woven images, and the history of textile techniques and their human use… Art about art. Canvases about canvas. Light about light. Textiles about other textiles. Dye about paint and paint about dye. The work of Virginia Davis is thoughtful, elegant, understated, and bold. Clearly it adds an absolutely original chapter to the history of the international contemporary fiber movement.
From an essay by Laurel Reuter, Director of the North Dakota Museum of Art

Excerpts From Critical Reviews

The Red & the Black

The Red & the Black 2 30"x60". Pigment in handwoven linen canvas

Much of her work engagingly fools the eye, casting optical illusions that challenge the best of op art. Her flat weavings can appear three dimensional, with precisely arranged colors and textures converying depth. Here too, she merges old with new...austere geometric patterns reminiscent of the minimalist canvasses of Frank Stella or Agnes Martin. She explores the possibilities of double layers,...and additive processes, such as painting on her weavings with a variety of materials that reflect light in different ways... Her aim is...to blur the boundaries between weaving and painting, and to confront the notions that distinguish craft from fine art... Victoria Alba, Fiberarts, Mar/Apr, 2000


Loss, 2001, 10"x11".
Acrylic, handwoven linen.

Virginia Davis makes "weavings about weaving"...Davis conveys in her work a message about the erasure of the gulf between the crafts and fine arts. Although the technical basis of her work has been ikat weaving for nearly two decades, she has begun to paint on the surface of her weavings...Technique supports and complements the conceptual basis of Davis's work as a thoughful exploration of theme and variation...
Karen S. Chamber, Surface Design Journal, Winter, 1996

Davis's cloth is about seeing not touching. In her interplay of dye and paint she examines how color is placed on cloth and on canvas...Using thread as a magnifying class she writes her own history of artists' materials...She does not require the loom to do anything extraordinary. She weaves cloth and saturates it with color, superimposing the history of painting on the history of textiles. Virginia Davis has achieved a feat that is rarely accomplished, she uses the loom as a conceptual tool...
Margo Mensing, Fiberarts, Sept/Oct, 1995

© 2010 Virginia Davis