Jose Dávila | The Elephant and the Feather
Marfa Contemporary, Marfa, TX, USA | 6.5.–4.9.2016
Jose Dávila’s artistic practice is located in the boundaries of the homage, imitation and critique. In a sort of mirage, the artist uses different reproduction strategies to dismantle the relation between form and content, as well as manifest the virtues and deficiencies of his references.

For more than a decade, Dávila has configured distinctive aesthetics in his body of work, evidencing both his education as an architect as well as his character of self-taught historian.Introducing a particular interest in Western culture, the imagery comprised within the artist’s work is based on a deep approach to architecture and art history. 

This allows him to create tautological games regarding the legacy of the 20th century avant-gardes. Recently, the artist has explored photography and documents as a means of registration, and their possibilities of resignification. These media lets him to appeal to the imagination and generate new perspectives on artistic tradition.

In the same vein, Dávila has recently developed a series of sculptures whose structural work is based on the arrangement and overlapping of material elements such as boulders, glass and marble, kept in balance with industrial ratchet straps. The functional articulation of these materials is a comment on the historical distance between different artistic practices.

Davila’s work addresses the question about the limits of instrumental values through the use of common materials to create sculptures, objects and installation. Frequently, the nature of these materials approaches both, architecture construction as well as formal artistic production, which subscribe his work to principles coined by Minimalism and Arte Povera. Dávila has also manifested a special interest in the use and occupation of space, issues that have been present throughout his career.

His work has been exhibited in Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporaneo MUAC, Mexico City; Caixa Forum, Madrid; MoMA PS1, New York; Kunstwerke, Berlin; San Diego Museum of Art; Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; MAK, Vienna, Fundacion / Coleccion JUMEX, Mexico City; Bass Museum of Art, Miami; Museu do Arte Moderna, Sao Paulo; The Moore Space, Miami; NICC, Antwerp, among others; and has been featured in international publications such as Cream 3, ed. Phaidon, 100 Latin-American Artists, ed. Exit y Megastructures-Reloaded, ed. Hatje Cantz.

Dávila has been recipient of support from the Andy Warhol Foundation, a Kunstwerke residency in Berlin and the National Grant for young artists by the Mexican Arts Council (FONCA) in 2000. He is a founder member of Oficina para Proyectos de Arte (OPA), in Guadalajara, Mexico.