Robert Davis, 1975

Installation Views | Works | Press Release

1975  è  una mostra di portraits di Robert Davis, persone e oggetti che hanno formato ed affascinato l'artista cresciuto a Norfolk in Virginia negli anni settanta.
Comprensiva di una serie di lavori a matita su carta, com'anche di alcune sculture in legno anch'esse dipinte a matita, i lavori in mostra possono essere interpretati come un'estensione composita del ritratto dell'artista stesso, interessato alla fluida interrelazione dell'esperienza negli aspetti della psicologia e dell'identità.
Ognuna delle immagini assume veste iconica quasi a sembrare una reliquia per il senso mnemonico che profondamente ha influenzato un'epoca, nella sua comprensione e la sua estetica: intellettuali, atleti, artisti, oggetti di design di quel periodo, o semplicemente il truck che usava suo padre, o le fragole che allora si raccoglievano, sono il simbolo di un periodo che, per l'artista, ricopre l'esigenza formativa e che tutt'oggi ne influenza il cammino. Il significato di ogni disegno viene raggruppato senza gerarchia alcuna, scolpendo la natura frammentata della memoria, che incide sulla difficoltà dell'individuazione e gli effetti palpabili di ogni ricordo. Solo la presentazione assemblata nella mostra consente una visione adulta dell'insieme. Mentre specificatamente riguardo l'artista ,i soggetti sono largamente riconoscibili, intermittenti,  tra il familiare, l'investigazione soggettiva e la trans-soggettività che consente allo spettatore di arrivare a considerazioni nostalgiche e di identificazione in dialogo con le opere stesse.

English version

1975 is an exhibition of portraits; people and objects that captivated and shaped the artist growing up in Norfolk, Virginia in the 1970s.
Comprised of a large series of graphite on paper drawings as well as three hand carved, graphite-patterned, wood sculptures, they might also be read as a composite portrait of Davis himself. Portraiture is a longstanding theme in Davis’s artwork and operates in this exhibition as both genre and form. This new body of work builds upon his sustained interest in the fluid interrelation of experience, psychology, and identity.
Each of the images acts as a kind of reliquary for an intense memory that profoundly influenced his understanding and aesthetics: riding in the Ford F-150 that his grandfather drove; watching Julius Erving (Dr. J), who was a local star in the now-defunct Virginia Squires during the early 1970s; and siting in Eero Aarni’s iconic, futuristic egg chair.
Drawings of intellectuals, athletes, artists, design, and architecture are grouped together and displayed without hierarchy, echoing the fragmented nature of memory and the difficulty singling out the direct effects of a single image or moment on our adult selves. While specific to Davis, his subjects are largely recognizable, even well known. Intermingling the familiar with the subjective instigates a trans-subjectivity that allows the viewer their own pleasurable operations of nostalgia and identification.
The show marks a new body of work for the artist who's work in some ways  have always been related to the '70s. Sometime as a nostalgic recall of a time he loved sometimes as a recalling of titles or script paintings and objects related to that period we can see in the past production.
1975 were years where the artist was a child, a very important and formative period where the artist found the basis of his life. In the exhibition we can see drawings and forms representing portraits of people and objects that influenced that period, gestures like picking up strawberries that we use to and that we don't use anymore. Portraits of symbols of a passed era sill present in artist's eyes, reflecting a desire to create an intimate show.
Graphite applied in patterns derived also from 1970s decorative art, traces across the surfaces of anthropomorphic, totem-like, wooden sculptures. They wear their memories lightly, but permanently and inescapably.
This body of work marks as well a dialogue with the viewer as the iconic portrayed symbols are having different subjective meanings for each one of us.