Jose Dávila’s work addresses questions about the limits of instrumental values with the use of common materials to create sculptures, objects and installation. He employs different reproduction strategies to dismantle the relationship between form and content.
Dávila’s thorough approach to architecture and self-thought art history, allows him to create tautological games regarding the legacy of the 20th Century avant-gardes. He has a special interest in the use and occupation of space and in sculpture as three-dimensional drawing.
In last year’s exhibition at Max Wigram gallery in London (“Daylight Found Me With No Answer”) and in the latest ARCOmadrid, the artist presented sculptures constructed of sheets of marble and glass that seem to be frozen, mid-fall, off-balance, held together by single, brightly coloured industrial straps, referencing Barnett Newman line paintings and Fred Sandback yarn sculptures. In their stillness, lies the possibility of a fall.
Dávila explains this equilibrium as a “state of rest”, meaning a physical term that describes an object when all forces applied to it neutralises each other. Conflicting forces are thus caught in this state to allow reflection on modern history and its cultural tropes.
His studies of architecture and the occupation of space can also be found in his cut-outs Buildings You Must See Before You Die The work explores his interest in the relationship between place and fiction, space and temporality under architecture. These silhouettes of famous, recognizable, architectural icons take over the photo, in many cases, in unrealistic proportion to their surroundings, emphasising their grandeur.
Jose Dávila (b. 1974, Guadalajara, Mexico) lives and works in Guadalajara. He initially studied architecture. Dávila’s exhibition include a solo presentation at Museo Tamayo in Mexico (2015); and previous shows at PS1, New York; Max Wigram, London; Kunstwerke, Berlin; San Diego Museum of Art; Prague Biennale; Camden Arts Centre, London; JUMEX Foundation, Mexico City; Caixa Forum, Madrid; MUMOK, Vienna; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid. Dávila’s work is part of many public collections, including JUMEX collection, Mexico City; MUDAM, Luxembourg; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; La Caixa Foundation, Madrid; Inhotim, Brazil; Museum of Latin American Art, Argentina; MUAC, Mexico City; Museo Amparo, Puebla.
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All images are courtesy of the artist.