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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Jose Dávila

b. 1974, Mexico

Jose Dávila works in a range of media—including sculpture, installation, collage and photography—to explore both material and form, often appropriating and re-contextualising history and architecture.

Davila's works are both odes and critiques to the artists and architects that came before him, such as Luis Barragán and Donald Judd. In Davila's ongoing series 'Homage to the Square' Josef Albers' paintings, in which squares of different colours are nested one inside the other, are reinterpreted as three-dimensional mobiles of nested square frames. While Albers used his paintings to consider the interpretation of colours when viewed in relationship to each other, Dávila's work presents the square and its colours as an exploration of form and shadow, reinterpreting Albers' exploration as a sculptural pursuit.

In his deconstruction and reconstruction of art historical works, Dávila also explores strategies of reproduction and reiteration. In works such as Buildings You Must See Before You Die (2008) and Chronological history of sculpture (2013), the artist's photographs of famous buildings and monuments are cut out, such that the very building or sculpture or artwork that warranted the initial image is deleted from the picture plane. In one photograph for example, there is a bean-shaped absence in Chicago where Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate (2006) should be.

Initialling training as an architect, Dávila's work appears to demonstrate an interest in how objects situate themselves in space and time, and how context influences their being in the world. In September 2017, the artist's work Sense of Place—commissioned by LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division)—was unveiled. Initially a six-tonne cube of Tetris-like pieces the work was gradually disassembled into 40 individual pieces and moved through the city to 20 separate sites. In each new location the pieces became a sculpture whose function was decided by the community. By portioning out the sculpture and moving it through the range of Los Angeles' diverse landscapes, the layers of Los Angeles historically, geographically and socially were traversed. Later, the pieces were reunited in their original West Hollywood Park location. In Sense of Place—as well as Buildings You Must See Before You Die (2008) and Chronological history of sculpture (2013)—the space around the art and architecture becomes a core participant in and influencer of the art and architecture itself.

Dávila's works are included in major collections such as Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; the Zabludowicz Collection, London; and Mudam Luxembourg. He received the EFG ArtNexus Latin America Art Award in 2014.

Casey Carsel | Ocula | 2018
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Featured Artworks

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Untitled (Peacock) by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork Jose DávilaUntitled (Peacock), 2018 Archival pigment print
146.1 x 181.6 cm
Sean Kelly
Untitled by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork Jose DávilaUntitled, 2018 Concrete volumes, boulder and epoxy paint
135.5 x 65.5 x 62.5 cm
Galería OMR
The most famous problem in the history of mathematics is that of squaring the circle IV by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork Jose DávilaThe most famous problem in the history of mathematics is that of squaring the circle IV, 2019 Silkscreen print and acrylic paint on loomstate linen
260 x 300 x 6 cm
Galería OMR
Orden Discontinuo LXIII by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork Jose DávilaOrden Discontinuo LXIII, 2019 Silkscreen print on cardboard
49.8 x 40.9 x 4.5 cm
Galería OMR
Untitled (Interior with Mirror) by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork Jose DávilaUntitled (Interior with Mirror), 2019 Archival pigment print
155 x 195 x 8 cm
Galería OMR
Panopticon XV by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork Jose DávilaPanopticon XV, 2018 Concrete volumes, metal, Black Universe marble, plaster, volcanic rock, and glass sphere
255 x 50 x 60 cm
Galería OMR
Divisions of the internal space by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork Jose DávilaDivisions of the internal space, 2018 Acrylic paint on loomstate linen
218 x 350 x 6 cm
Galería OMR
Orden Discontinuo LV by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork Jose DávilaOrden Discontinuo LV, 2019 Silkscreen print on cardboard
72.1 x 53.2 x 4.5 cm
Galería OMR

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Unstable Stillness at Perrotin, Hong Kong
Closed
1 November–1 December 2018 Group Exhibition Unstable Stillness Perrotin, Hong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Almost Solid Light: New Work from Mexico at Kasmin, New York
Closed
21 June–17 August 2018 Group Exhibition Almost Solid Light: New Work from Mexico Kasmin, 515 West 27th Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Jose Dávila, Mecánica de lo inestable at Galería OMR, Mexico City
Closed
6 February–9 May 2018 Jose Dávila Mecánica de lo inestable Galería OMR, Mexico City

Represented By

In Related Press

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Poética de lo técnico Related Press Poética de lo técnico La Tempestad : 20 February 2018

José Dávila elabora el discurso de Mecánica de lo inestable, su exposición en la galería OMR, a partir de las características de los materiales que conforman sus esculturas. 'Me interesa exprimir momentos poéticos a soluciones aparentemente muy técnicas,' comenta el creador, que se formó como arquitecto.

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La tensión de las estructuras Related Press La tensión de las estructuras Arquine : 16 February 2018

Recientemente fue inaugurada en la Galería OMR la muestra Mecánica de lo inestable del mexicano José Dávila. Formado en la arquitectura, la práctica escultórica del artista se encuentra permeada por una noción sobre la elementalidad de los materiales. En sus piezas se observan diversas formas que, lejos de transformarse a través de la talla o del...

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New Avenues Related Press New Avenues Aesthetica Magazine : 14 March 2017

The four recipients of this year's BALTIC Artists' Award are Jose Dávila, Eric N. Mack, Toni Schmale and Shen Xin. The winners of the 2017 prize were announced this month at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.

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Frieze Art Fair 2016: The 90s makes a comeback and there's role play in the loos Related Press Frieze Art Fair 2016: The 90s makes a comeback and there's role play in the loos It's Nice That : 7 October 2016

If you visit Regent’s Park over the next few days, the usual squawks and whinnying emanating from London Zoo will be accompanied by animated chirruping and the squeak of air kisses at Frieze Art Fair nearby. As usual, gaggles of well-dressed art aficionados and admirers, collectors, journalists and even the odd celeb or two descend onto...

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In Related Video

Jose Dávila | Mecánica de lo inestable | OMR Related Video & Audio Jose Dávila | Mecánica de lo inestable | OMR Galería OMR : 31 August 2018

February 6th–May 9th, 2018Mecánica de lo inestable presents two recent groups of sculptural works by Jose Dávila. The title of the exhibition works as a haiku, demonstrating the conflictive relationship between juxtaposed systems. Dávila claims that a moving structure maintains a sense of order in what seems unstable but still belongs to the realm...

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