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b. 1974, Mexico

Jose Dávila Biography

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.

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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

Exhibition view: Jose Dávila, Grava Suelta, OMR, Mexico City (9 November–17 December 2022). Courtesy the artist and OMR. Photo: © Ramiro Chaves.

Jose Dávila Featured Artworks

View All (22)
Untitled (Brushstroke) by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork works on paper, print
Jose Dávila Untitled (Brushstroke), 2022 Archival pigment print
140 x 110 x 8 cm
OMR Enquire
Untitled (Sunshine) by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork works on paper, print
Jose Dávila Untitled (Sunshine), 2022 Archival pigment print
228 x 289 x 8 cm
OMR Enquire
The fact of constantly returning to the same point or situation by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork works on paper
Jose Dávila The fact of constantly returning to the same point or situation, 2022 Silkscreen print and vinyl paint on loomstate linen
140 x 113.2 x 6 cm
OMR Enquire
The fact of constantly returning to the same point or situation by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork painting, print, mixed media
Jose Dávila The fact of constantly returning to the same point or situation, 2022 Silkscreen print and vinyl paint on loomstate linen
142 x 300 x 6 cm
OMR Enquire
Untitled (Spray) by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork print
Jose Dávila Untitled (Spray), 2020 Archival pigment print
190 x 150 x 8.5 cm
Sean Kelly Contact Gallery
Acapulco chair stack by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork works on paper, sculpture
Jose Dávila Acapulco chair stack, 2021 Metal, epoxy paint and boulders
179.5 x 130 x 132 cm
Sean Kelly Contact Gallery
The fact of constantly returning to the same point or situation by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork painting
Jose Dávila The fact of constantly returning to the same point or situation, 2021 Vinyl paint on loomstate linen
140 x 113.2 x 6 cm
Sean Kelly Contact Gallery
Untitled by Jose Dávila contemporary artwork sculpture
Jose Dávila Untitled, 2021 Concrete, boulder and epoxy paint
141 x 76 x 102 cm
Sean Kelly Contact Gallery

Jose Dávila Current & Recent Exhibitions

View All (9)

Jose Dávila Represented By

KÖNIG GALERIE contemporary art gallery in Berlin, Germany
KÖNIG GALERIE Berlin, Seoul, Vienna
OMR contemporary art gallery in Mexico City, Mexico
OMR Mexico City
Sean Kelly contemporary art gallery in New York, USA
Sean Kelly New York

Jose Dávila In Ocula Magazine

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