Home » Woven Paintings: VoCA Visits Rob Davidovitz

Woven Paintings: VoCA Visits Rob Davidovitz

I stopped by the studio of young painter Rob Davidovitz the other afternoon. Rob doesn’t paint in the traditional sense, though. Instead he uses paint to create these textile/painting hybrids.


A woven painting by Rob Davidovitz. All images: VoCA

He mixes paint colours in a kind of pastry tube (more on that below) and squeezes it out in long lines, like thread. Each ‘thread’ incorporates its own mix of colour that blends nicely in the final piece.They he lets the paint dry and weaves the strips, which he attaches to board. Pretty simple.


Another view.

The work may not be terribly mature (yet) –  he’s a young guy, but it’s beautiful, and an interesting approach when you consider other artists who have used paint in a sculptural way – I’m thinking of Kim Dorland‘s earlier work, for one. It’s also interesting that Davidovitz cites the poured paint sculptures of feminist artist Lynda Benglis as an influence. His woven paintings do come off as strangely feminist, meaning that one can comfortably view them through the lens of feminist art–weaving being a traditionally ‘feminine’ craft.

The works are seductive – Davidovitz encourages you to touch and bend them; they’re not delicate.


The back of the work. The paint is glued to the board.

Davidovitz went to art school with plans to be a photographer. Believe it or not, he was working in a bakery, making a cake when he came up with the idea of pushing paint through a piping bag. Shortly thereafter he began experimenting, and eventually perfected the technique..


Three smaller finished works.

Are the works paintings or textiles? “I weave paint,” says Davidovitz. He’s been showing here and there (including at Toronto’s Textile Museum) since he graduated in 2005 and is currently preparing for a group show titled Hard Twist at the Gladstone Hotel which opens on November 25th. The exhibition, all textile-based work by 40 artists, will feature his largest work to date, an enormous piece that weighs over two hundred pounds and involved over twenty gallons of paint to create.

This is good – he should be encouraged to think big and beyond, the way Benglis does.


The artist with a single strand from his Gladstone Hotel piece.


Some small strands.


The weaving process.


An early, experimental work.

5 Responses to “Woven Paintings: VoCA Visits Rob Davidovitz”

  1. For a less sculptural but far more intricate take on painting as weaving, you should have a look (another look?) at Sasha Pierce (http://www.sashapierce.ca/index.htm), another young painter who weaves “threads” of paint directly onto the canvas. She’s moved quite a ways beyond the standard crosshatch with some truly inventive geometries that still have the lushness of a woven tapestry. Beautiful stuff :)

  2. AC says:

    Thanks for the note Stephanie! AC

  3. courtney says:

    Wow, this is some of the most unique art I’ve ever seen – having paint actually ACT like a woven textile, not just mimicking one. A truly creative and original departure from other paint/textile hybrids out there. His lengthly process is quite fascinating, even pulling techniques from baking! Nice post, VOCA. Looking forward to this and other works at the Gladstone again. ~CW.

  4. Allanah Scott says:

    Yes, Sasha Pierce’s work is truly original, gorgeous and extremely valued in Canada and the US.

  5. Mike says:

    I’m ambivalent about Sasha Pierce’s work on her site — never seen the originals. Sometimes one hides in intricacy; simpler is harder as there is no place to hide. Pierce is a bit too frilly and somehow “weak” whatever that means. I like the Davidovitz pieces better. They seem a rediscovery of some of the aesthetic sense of Sol Lewitt and his era, but reinterpreted by a new generation after a period of eclipse.

    To be fair, I am ancient, and possibly out of touch with contemporary taste, so I may be missing something in Sasha Pierce’s work that younger people bring to it when viewing it….or it may be that the rendition loses the subtleties that would make it appeal more. Possibly a movable magnifier on her site would be useful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>