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Four Elements

Lisa Corinne Davis

by Synatra Smith, Ph.D. on 2021-06-17T12:00:00-04:00 in Black Artists | Comments

Lisa Corinne Davis is a Brooklyn-based African American artist born in 1958 in Baltimore. She is known for her paintings and works on paper in which she uses lines and bold colors to create what she terms “inventive geography.” Davis earned a BFA from the Pratt Institute and an MFA from Hunter College, where she is currently a professor and head of painting.[1] Reflecting on her work, Davis has explained: 

My position as an abstract painter allows me to manifest my own sense of self—my Black self—as an expression of self-determination and freedom, while avoiding an oppositional stance. I do not believe this position is ‘post-racial’ since I am not sure that that is possible. Yet the current system of how to include Black artists in the mainstream seems to be stuck in tropes from the past. I do not want to negate discussions of race and racism in art, but I do want to open the conversation by detaching Blackness from a narrow racial term, allowing it to be more pliable.[2] 

Regarding the impact of feminism on the art world, in 2014 Davis remarked: “As a painter, though I hate to say it, I cannot see the effects of feminism. Men still shockingly dominate the art world, and misogyny runs amok. There seems to be no shock or shame about a massive business that barely gives a nod to women.”[3]


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[1] Davis n.d.; Hunter College n.d.; Jenkins Johnson Gallery n.d.

[2] Davis 2016.

[3] Davis quoted in Hamer 2014. 



Davis, Lisa Corinne. n.d. Artist’s website. Accessed March 30, 2021.


Davis, Lisa Corinne. 2016. “Towards a More Fluid Definition of Blackness.” Artcritical. Accessed March 30, 2021.


Hamer, Katy Diamond. 2014. “26 Female Artists on Lynda Benglis and the Art World’s Gender Problems (NSFW).” Vulture. Accessed March 30, 2021.


“Lisa Corinne Davis.” n.d. Department of Art and Art History, Hunter College. Accessed March 30, 2021.

“Lisa Corinne Davis.” n.d. Jenkins Johnson Gallery. Accessed March 30, 2021.

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