Ian Davenport was born in Kent in 1966. He graduated from Goldsmiths College of Art in 1988 and as one of the generation of Young British Artists, he participated in the seminal 1988 exhibition Freeze. In 1991 he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize and in 1999 was a prize winner in the John Moores Exhibition, Liverpool. Since then he has exhibited extensively across the world, and undertaken several large scale site-specific murals and commissions including the 50m long mural under the bridge on Southwark Street, London (2006), and a commission for the Olympic Games temporarily installed outside Tate Modern, London (2012).
His abstract paintings are made by pouring and dripping household paint onto prepared canvases, boards and aluminium panels, tilted so that gravity and the consistency of the paint determine the final composition. This approach both systematic and random, predetermining both materials and process, results in paintings whose effect is based on physical immediacy rather than any theoretical background. Over the past ten years he has turned his attention to silkscreen printing and more recently etching, building up an impressive body of graphic work.
Davenport's work is held in numerous public collections including the Arts Council of Great Britain; British Council; Tate, London; Nuffield College, Oxford University; Museum of Modern Art, La Spezia, Italy; Weltkunst Collection, Zurich; Borusan Art Gallery, Istanbul and Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas. The first monograph dedicated to Davenport was published by Thames & Hudson in 2014.