Anna U Davis

Visual Artist, Washington DC

Artist Statement – Anna U Davis

Art serves a dual purpose for me. It is a vehicle to express my socio-political views and a coping mechanism. As a young child, I would create pictures to manage my emotions, and as an adult, my art practice helps me to deal with the long-term side effects of my

breast cancer treatments. Early on in my development as an artist, I decided to break down the human form into basic geometric shapes and lean on expressing my characters’ emotions through abstracted exaggerated placements of their facial features and body parts. My signature gray Frocasian characters were inspired by my interracial marriage. My husband was born to a Swedish mother and an African American father in Lund, Sweden, and while we both grew up in the same town and went to the same school, our life experience has been very different due to the color of our skin.

Society has a long way to go to become inclusive, equal, and to appreciate our diversity and recognize our joint humanity and this is why I have spent most of my career creating work investigating social justice issues, focusing primarily on gender relations. My first artist love was the fearless Frida Kahlo and her unapologetic storytelling and how she challenged social norms. I fell in love with the bold black outlines of Keith Haring’s work, the striking collages by Romare Bearden and the organic structures of Antoni Gaudí.

All of these artists have served as an inspiration for the development of my own artistic style in which I combine multiple mediums on canvas, including acrylic paint, hand cut paper collage, ink drawing, pumice and appliqué textiles.



ANNA U DAVIS b. 1975, Lund, Sweden
Lives and works in Washington DC

2021, 2015
Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, New York, NY
Show award winner – SHIFT Online Exhibition, McLean Projects for the Arts, McLean, VA, curated by Henry L. Thaggert
2022-2021, 2019
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Projects Events and Festivals (Individuals,) Washington, DC
2022-2013, 2011
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Arts and Humanities Fellowship Program (Individuals,) Washington, DC
Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Emergency Assistance Grant, New York, NY
Residency at Wip Gallery at Artisphere, Arlington, VA

Reality Check, Davis Contemporary, Copenhagen, Denmark (forthcoming fall)
Reality Check, IA&A at Hillyer, Washington DC
Reality Check, Swedish American Museum, Chicago, IL
Take it Personal -Anna U Davis and Ola Kalnins, Bredgade Kunsthandel, Copenhagen, Denmark (Duo)
Frocasian: Moving Beyond Social Constructs, Artist Proof, Washington DC
Damsels in Distress, Galerie Myrtis, Baltimore, MD
2017 – 2018
Witnesses, House of Sweden (Embassy of Sweden), Washington DC
Anna U Davis – Going Big @ Dacha, Dacha Loft, Washington DC
Pop-up, Gallery at Bloombars, Washington, DC
A Work in Progress, Wip Gallery at Artisphere, Arlington, VA
The Dance before the Kill, Long View Gallery, Washington, DC
Bull’s-Eye, Long View Gallery, Washington, DC
Invasion, IA&A at Hillyer, Washington DC
Fragile Beauty, I Street Galleries, Washington DC, curated by Elizabeth Ashe, Claude Elliott, Zsudayka Nzinga and Jarvis Grant (forthcoming)
Body Language: Contemporary Approaches to Figuration, Brentwood Art Exchange, Brentwood, MD, curated by Andrea Limauro (forthcoming)
Women of the Pandemic, Katara, Building 47, Gallery 2, Doha, Qatar
Creativity in Quarantine: Women of the Pandemic, Qatar America Institute for Culture, Washington DC
Summer show, Oil and Pigments, Washington DC
Creativity in Quarantine: Women of the Pandemic, Qatar America Institute for Culture, Washington DC – Katara, Doha, Qatar, online
Latela Curatorial x Artsy: Women in the Arts ~ Materiality – In the Flesh, Washington DC
SHIFT Online Exhibition, McLean Projects for the Arts, McLean, VA, curated by Henry L. Thaggert
Building Bridges: The Politics of Love, Identity and Race II, Galeria Carmen Montilla, 13th Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba, Curators Myrtis Bedolla and Ana Joa
Where Have We Been, Center for the Arts Gallery, Towson University, Towson, MD, curated by Dr Erin Lehman and Dr. J. Susan Isaacs
More or Less, Hemphill, Washington DC
Oh Say, Can You See? Emigre Artist In America, Charles Krause / Reporting Fine Art, Washington DC
One Year Later, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Hyattsville, MD
Consumption: Food as Paradox, Galerie Myrtis, Baltimore, MD
These Mirrors Are Not Boxes, VisArts, Rockville, MD, curated by Kayleigh N. Bryant-Greenwell
Emergence: International Artist to Watch, Galerie Myrtis, Baltimore, MD, curated by Sharon Burton, Robert Devereux, Deana Haggag, and Makgati Molebatsi
Untitled, Gallery OneTwentyEight, New York, NY
Holiday Popsicle, Gallery OneTwentyEight, New York, NY, curated by Kazuko Miyamoto
Crowns, The Fridge, Washington, DC, curated by Zoma Wallace
Fear Strikes Back, Fine Art Gallery, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, curated by Helen Fredericks
The Newtown Projects: A Call to Arms, Charles Krause/ Reporting Fine Art, Washington, DC
Zeitgeist III: Too Much Information, District of Columbia Art Center, Washington, DC
Synergy, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC=
Party Crashers: Comic Book Culture Invades the Art World, Terrace Gallery at Artisphere, Arlington, VA, curated by Cynthia Connolly
Permanent Collection, DC Government Art Bank, Washington, DC
Dacha Loft, Washington, DC
American Humanistic Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership, Washington, DC
GCH Endowment to Promote Quality Early Childhood Education, Washington, DC
Dorothy Lichtenstein Private Collection, Captiva (FL) / Southampton (NY) / New York (NY)
David Lichtenstein and Jennifer Moore, Berkeley (CA)