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 since then has exhibited extensively across the world, and undertaken several large scale site-specific murals, including the 50m long mural under the bridge on Southwark Street, London. In 1999 he was a prize winner in the John Moores Exhibition

His abstract paintings are made by pouring and dripping household paint on to prepared canvases, boards and aluminium panels, tilted so that gravity and the consistency of the paint determine the final composition. This systematic approach, predetermining both materials and process, results in paintings whose effect is based on physical immediacy rather than any theoretical background. More recently he has turned his attention to silkscreen printing and etching and has already built up an impressive body of graphic work.

Davenport's work is held in numerous public collections including the Arts Council of Great Britain, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Tate gallery, London, Weltkunst Collection, Zurich and Southampton City Art Gallery.