Ronald Davis's 'Snapline I Series'

Interior view of Ronald Davis's studio at Pico Boulevard and 4th Avenue in Los Angeles. Photo by Bob Jaye. Courtesy of Ronald Davis.

Celebrated as a master of geometric abstraction and optical illusion, Ronald Davis has employed a wide variety of techniques throughout his career, from paper-making to computer-assisted painting. In the mid-1970s, he began to adapt the snap line – a tool primarily used in construction – to create perspective grids that would form the basis of a series of large paintings. By arranging a chalked or pigmented cord across the canvas and then snapping it, he was able to swiftly lay out the large, precise lines that were critical to his vision. Created between 1974 and 1978, the nearly 40 works of the Snapline I Series combine rigorous geometry with more fluid painterly marks, resulting in hybrid and layered meditations on perspective.