Luce Gallery presents Robert Davis‘s second solo exhibition at the gallery. Including paintings, bronze panels, and sculpture, the artist’s newest body of work,Anything to Feel Weightless Again, expresses a shared longing for embodied experience. The work and the title play with the possibility of encountering an oceanic dissolving of the self rather than the uncertain and alienated reality of daily life.
In the most immersive component of the exhibition, Davis uses a RYB palette for a series of large paintings that consume the viewer in felds of primary colors. Signifcantly, RYB is a historical model that predates scientifc color theory and the dominance of RGB and CMYK in contemporary screen and printing technologies. The paintings’ hypnotic colors create a mesmerizing scene of ìcollective attachment, of absorbing and enchanted relationships to objects in an increasingly ìpixelated world of grids and binary code. Davis’s installation visualizes a sustaining fantasy of ìfulfllment and continuity. (In other words, love.) Invoking this fantasy, Davis points at our relentless ìstruggle to manage the disappointment, violence and unintelligibility that often characterize our ìdesire for belonging and intimacy.
Davis makes knowing gestures toward color theory, modernist geometries and designed objects, but his use of base bodily materials (urine on bronze panels, for example) emphasizes the inevitable material faws in these historical styles. Like a child’s imperfect memory of awe, Davis’s work in Anything to Feel suggests that modernist resolutions are temporary, precarious, and incomplete.
The installation’s central sculpture is a melancholic fgure, a representation of the coexisting optimism and failure that animate these attempts for a shared social experience. Yet Davis‘ work does not shy away from the pleasure to be had in these provisional solutions: he proposes a romantic oscillation between success and failure, function and dysfunction, as a kind of solution itself.
- Installation view. Courtesy of Luce Gallery