Curtis DavisJune 27–September 7, 2019 West Gallery
White Columns is proud to present the first New York solo exhibition by the Cincinnati-based artist Curtis Davis. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with Visionaries + Voices (Cincinnati) as a part of the city-wide 2019 CONDO New York project.
This will be White Columns second collaboration with Visionaries + Voices, following our 2016 solo presentation of Dale Jackson’s work. Established in 2003 in Cincinnati, OH, Visionaries + Voices is a non-profit organization that provides exhibition opportunities, studio space, and support to more than 125 visual artists with disabilities.
Curtis Davis’s exhibition at White Columns centers around a recent group of his visceral painted sculptural works. Davis’s process begins with the construction of a sculptural armature, typically created from found or scavenged materials, inc. rocks, debris, pine cones, sections of tree trunks, scrap wood and cardboard. Davis then proceeds to paint these resultant structures with layer-upon-layer of monochromatic paint, with each subsequent layer concealing the previous one. Creating in turn an accumulative, all-over, skin-like surface that both envelops and transforms the – now increasingly obscured – sculpture below.
Presented on table-top platforms – that echo Davis’s studio set up – these hybrid ‘painting-sculptures’ suggest a form of improvised architecture: e.g. the visionary, expressionistic constructions of Hermann Finsterlin (1887-1973) come to mind, as does Martin Kippenberger’s iconic 1988 artist’s book ‘Psychobuildings’. Davis’s complex and ambiguous work ultimately reverberates with the multiple – and often confused – histories of modernist sculpture, where a partial list of antecedents might include: Dada assemblage and the idiosyncratic sculptural works of artists as different as Ken Price, A.R. Penck, Franz West, B. Wurtz, Judith Scott, Vincent Fecteau, and Rachel Harrison, among (many) others.
This exhibition builds upon White Columns’ now 15-year history of collaborations with art centers and studio programs that support communities of artists living and working with disabilities, including projects with artists affiliated with the following organizations: Creative Growth (Oakland, CA); N.I.A.D. (Richmond, CA); H.A.I. (New York); Fountain House (New York); First Street (Claremont, CA); Gateway Arts (Brookline, MA); and Visionaries + Voices (Cincinnati, OH).
White Columns would like to thank everyone at Visionaries + Voices for their enthusiastic support in bringing Curtis Davis’s work to White Columns. To learn more about Visionaries + Voices, their mission and the artists they support, visit: www.visionariesandvoices.com
To learn more about the city-wide CONDO New York project, visit: www.condocomplex.org