Black Balloon

Gene Davis ( 1920 - 1985)
Black Balloon
Acrylic on canvas
© 2020 Estate of Gene Davis / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Contemporary Art Gallery

Description of Black Balloon

NARRATOR: The painting you are in front of is entitled Black Balloon and was created by Gene Davis in 1964 using acrylic paint on canvas. It is 93 ½ inches tall by 171 ½ inches wide and is displayed in a thin wooden frame.

This painting consists entirely of equal-sized vertical stripes of color that reach from the top of the canvas to the bottom with no empty space in between. Each stripe is roughly three inches wide. Some, but not all, of the long, solid stripes form visual patterns. For example, the side of the canvas to our left consists mostly of alternating orange and black stripes; however, three deep lavender stripes are interspersed at random intervals, interrupting the pattern. The middle section of the canvas abruptly shifts to four alternating green and yellow stripes, followed by stripes of royal blue, white, orange, black, lavender, black, and white. A bright red stripe marks the center of the canvas, followed by stripes of light green, dark purple, lavender, black, orange, and white. As our eyes continue to travel to our right, the stripes return to roughly the same pattern as the left side of the canvas, alternating orange and black stripes, with six deep lavender stripes interrupting at random intervals.

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