Franklin’s Footpath, by Gene Davis, 1972

Wikipedia: “Gene Davis (August 22, 1920–April 6, 1985) was a US painter known especially for paintings of vertical stripes of color, and a member of the group of abstract painters in Washington DC during the 1960s known as the Washington Color School. Davis was born in Washington DC in 1920, and spent nearly all his life there. Before he began to paint in 1949, he worked as a sportswriter, covering the Washington Redskins and other local teams. Working as a journalist in the late 1940s, he covered the Roosevelt and Truman presidential administrations, and was often President Truman’s partner for poker games. . . . Though he worked in a variety of media and styles, including ink, oil, acrylic, video, and collage, Davis is best known by far for his acrylic paintings (mostly on canvas) of colorful vertical stripes, which he began to paint in 1958. The paintings typically repeat particular colors to create a sense of rhythm and repetition with variations. . . . In 1972 Davis created ‘Franklin’s Footpath,’ which was at the time the world’s largest artwork, by painting colorful stripes on the street in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the world’s largest painting, ‘Niagara’ (43,680 square feet), in a parking lot in Lewiston, NY. His ‘micro-paintings,’ at the other extreme, were as small as 3/8 of an inch square.”


Originally published at

Add Your Comments