Lisa Corinne Davis (b. 1958, Baltimore, MD) explores the complex relationship of race, culture, and history, where form and content merge. She uses abstraction to explore how society compresses identity into singular terms. Davis believes that identity is much more convoluted and complex to be narrowed down to race and gender. She weaves together ruled lines and primary colors with gestural work and organic forms. Davis uses the map as a metaphor for the viewer to try to locate themselves within the composition. Her “inventive geography” prompts a wide range of interpretations, its open-endedness a stance she actively cultivates. The resultant mix of eclectic form and content is surprising as well as stimulating. Davis, says her practice explores the complex relationship between “race, culture and history” and, with it, ideas about classification and contingency, the rational and irrational, chaos and order.


Davis’ paintings have been exhibited across the United States and Europe. She has been received positively by the press including The Telegraph, Art News, Art in America, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The New York Times. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship, and three Artist Fellowships from The New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2017, she was inducted as a National Academician at the National Academy Museum & School. Davis’ work is included in many prestigious private and public collections including The Museum of Modern Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and The Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is documented in the book, Represent: 200 Years of African American Art in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, by Gwendolyn DuBois, Yale University Press, 2014. Davis received her BFA from Pratt Institute, and her MFA from Hunter College. She is currently a Professor of Art, and Head of Painting, at Hunter College.