Jose Dávila (Guadalajara, MX, 1974)

Jose Dávila’s work originates from the symbolic languages that function within art history and Western visual culture. These pictorial, graphic and sculptural languages are reconfigured as contradictory and contrasting relations, taking the correspondence between form and content to its limit.

The artist represents these oppositions through different perspectives: the association between images and words; the structural disposition of materials which entails the possibility of a harmonious balance or disarray; the use of peripheral routes in order to define architectural space and the presence of objects. Dávila’s work is essentially a multidisciplinary endeavor that presents a series of material and visual aporias, these paradoxes permit the coexistence of frailty and resistance, rest and tension, geometric order and random chaos.

A part of his work uses the appropriation and recontextualization of iconic artworks in order to question the way in which we recognize and relate visually. A series of translations and editing procedures are employed in order to modify the normal procedure of identification; materials are modified, elements are highlighted or concealed, and the languages of art movements are reproduced with local resources and within a contemporary context.

Dávila’s sculptural work is based on the specificity of the employed materials, their origin, symbolic value and their formal characteristics are elements that take great significance; industrial materials interact with organic raw materials. 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. With these sculptures Dávila intends to provide visibility to the physical processes that are required in order for things to maintain their shape and occupy space in a specific manner. Human intervention and the material disposition of things produce hybrid systems that respond to structural intuitions; technique unfolds itself as a poetic dimension.

Jose Dávila is a self-taught artist. He studied architecture at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (Guadalajara, MX).

His work has been exhibited at the Museo del Novecento, Firenze, IT; Getty’s PST LA/LA Triennial, Los Angeles, USA; Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona, SP; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, DE; Marfa Contemporary, Marfa, USA; Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, USA; Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag, NL; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, NL; Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo MUAC, Mexico City, MX; Caixa Forum, Madrid, SP; MoMA PS1, New York, USA; Kunstwerke, Berlin, DE; San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, USA; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, SP; MAK, Vienna, AT; Fundación/Colección JUMEX, Mexico City, MX; Bass Museum of Art, Miami, USA; Museu de Arte Moderna, Sao Paulo, BR; among others.

His work is part of international public and private collections such as Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, FR; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, SP; Inhotim Collection, Brumadinho, BR; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburgo, DE. Dávila has been featured in international publications such as Cream 3, ed. Phaidon; 100 Latin American Artists, ed. Exit and the monograph The Feather and The Elephant, ed. Hatje Cantz.

Jose Dávila has been awarded with the 2017 Baltic Artists’ Award in the UK and is a 2016 Honoree of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, USA. Dávila has received scholarships and funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Sistema Nacional de Creadores del Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, Mexico. The artist lives and works in Guadalajara, MX.

Born in Guadalajara, 1974

Lives and works in Guadalajara, MX

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. 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. His 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.