Travesía Cuatro’s proposal for the 2016 edition of Frieze London is an exhaustive revision on the importance of writing and the pertinence of text in relation to contemporary art production, emphasizing on how most artworks have their origin as a written expression or textual form: as notes, sketches or literary exercises.
The show features works by Jose Dávila and Jorge Méndez Blake, two pivotal figures of Guadalajara’s contemporary art scene. The work of Méndez Blake is characterized by the constant use of literature as raw material, analyzing and synthesizing the written word by means of architectural resources. Dávila is interested in tracing the origins of art within the basic human capacities of visual memory and recognition, mixing textual references (descriptions of prehistoric art) with childish scribbles that gradually transform into modernist compositions.
Also included in the exhibition, Mateo López, a Colombian artist who lives and works in New York City and Sara Ramo an artist born in Madrid, working between Brazil and Spain. These two artists are perfect examples of the great fluidity between the European and Latin American art scenes. Mateo López is inspired by the narrative potential of common objects; with his work, mainly drawing, he explores how everything suggests action and displacement through their formal qualities. This reconsideration of the subject / object relationship would imply an alternative approach to human memory. Sara Ramo uses film and installation to construct ambiguous environments of symbolic meaning; often referencing everyday rituals and domestic spaces she studies the most basic forms of human activity as linguistic expressions.
Finally, Elena del Rivero is a Spanish artist that lives and works in New York City; she is recognized as a historical figure in Spanish contemporary art. Elena’s works are originated within the effort of capturing the biographical spectrum revealed in the act of writing, offering a visual investigation of the recurrent motifs in the epistolary genre.
Frieze Sculpture Park | S9
Jose Dávila , Joint Effort
Travesia Cuatro is thrilled to participate in Frieze Sculpture Park featuring José Dávila's Joint Effort. A sculpture that is the outcome of a perfect balance between opposite forces, the artist uses elements that are reminiscent of minimalist art and activates them through invisible tension. Sculptural forms are used as the basic tools of drawing: line, point and plane. This piece is exemplary of the current situation of Mexican contemporary sculpture.
Jose Dávila (Guadalajara, Mexico, 1974)
Jose Dávila’s work questions the modernist tradition that has given shape to art practices of the XX century. By appropriation and a subsequent reconfiguration the artists uses other artworks as raw material, emphasizing the way in which they have been registered and placed in circulation as images. Resorting to duplication and alteration, Dávila fractures the dynamics of recognition that normally permit the configuration of icons and ways of seeing. Another route for approaching this issue is the transformation of the pictorial into sculptural elements, imposing spatial consequences to images that used to be two-dimensional.
Dávila’s sculptural work takes as point of departure the specificity of the materials he employs, their origin and value are elements that take great significance; industrial materials such as glass, steel or concrete, interact with natural raw materials like marble and rocks. The artist also uses common objects for creating replicas of easily recognizable sculptures created by other artists, intending to show how certain forms of occupying space are also inscribed within the system of visual referentiality that frames western art history.
Influenced by his education in architecture, Dávila arranges objects as if they were basic elements of drawing (point, line and plane) for creating systems that exemplify notions of equilibrium, stability and permanence.
His work has been exhibited in numerous institutions and museums such as: Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, Mexico; Caixa Forum, Madrid, Spain; MoMA PS1, New York, USA; Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany; San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, USA; Museo de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; MAK, Vienna, Austria; Fundación JUMEX, Mexico City, Mexico; Bass Museum of Art, Miami, USA; Museu de Arte Moderna, Sao Paolo, Brazil; The Moore Space, Miami, USA; NICC, Antwerp, Belgium; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Marfa Contemporary, Texas, USA, among others. His work has been included in the following publications: Cream 3 (Phaidon), 100 Latin-American Artists (Exit) and Megastructures-Reloaded (Hatje Cantz).
Dávila has received the following grants and residencies: Andy Warhol Foundation, Kunst-Werke Residency and the Beca Nacional para Jóvenes Artistas, FONCA. Dávila was co-founder and co-director of the independent space OPA (Oficina para Proyectos de Arte) in Guadalajara, Mexico; the artist currently lives and works in this city.