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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See 6 Sep 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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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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Homage to the Square by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork
Jose DávilaHomage to the Square, 2019 Glass and vinyl paint
219 x 250 x 38.4 cm
Galería OMR
Completed Cycle by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork
Jose DávilaCompleted Cycle, 2019 Glass sphere and sand
70 x 110 cm
Galería OMR
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

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, 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
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Show, The Queen Falls. at Galería OMR, Mexico City
Closed
7 February–25 March 2017 Group Show The Queen Falls. 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 Video & Audio

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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