Davidson has transposed the patterns of refracted light and rippling water into monochromatic works in which the imagery appears and disappears as the viewer moves. Some of the paintings have hints of pigment, while others are purely white-on-white compositions that are readable only through the difference in surface sheen. There is a quickness in gesture reminiscent of Chinese landscape scrolls in which the vastness of what we can perceive can be apparent with the simplest of marks. The works in many ways heightens the sensitivity of the viewer to see the work that presents itself more as a whisper than as a thunder clap.
In addition to the water paintings, Davidson will be exhibiting his well-known sculptural pieces and installations based on multiple cast objects. Most of the objects and materials are quite ordinary, but are connected with what he believes are examples of the picturesque. It is important to him to work with truly ordinary materials and see what can be coaxed out of them. He has a tendency to follow the material and let the idea be driven largely by the inherent quality and symbolism of the material used.
He specifically has been working with casts of sunflowers. Casting them in plaster, he leaves them raw and monochromatic. In effect, the works become drained of the life we typically associate with flowers and still lives. They become a form of trophy, a memento mori.
There are two central elements to this practice. First is the use of repetition – casting enough flowers to create an object in which the flowers are much smaller elements; building layers of scotch tape which form mountain images that reflect the California landscape; casting objects in paper pulp created from his personal financial documents. He tries to achieve a level of mass production in the objects, though all have been handmade. Second is the notion of the fabricated object versus the original. Joe never attempts exact replicas of an object; he creates shadows of the original.
Davidson’s intent is to cause viewers to consider that which surrounds us, to see beautiful in the mundane and to perhaps reconsider that which are the models of beauty.
An Opening Reception for Joe Davidson's Elements and Waves exhibition will take place on Saturday, August 10, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The exhibition will remain on view until September 7, 2013.
ABOUT JOE DAVIDSON:
Joe Davidson (b. 1969, Massachusetts) lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his MFA from The San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA and received his BFA Sculpture at The University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. He has exhibited throughout North America and Europe including Barbara Davis Gallery in Houston, Judith Tatar Gallery in Toronto, and Arte 1307 in Naples & Milan. Davidson is a 2009 recipient of the C.O.L.A. Fellowship from the Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles, CA. He has been reviewed by many publications including the Los Angeles Times, Artillery Magazine, Artscene, and THE Magazine.