Celebrating the third and final volume of his Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings—edited by EvaMeyer-Hermann and published last year—join Luc Tuymans in conversation with Helen Molesworth at the Morgan Library.
The artist will present a new solo exhibition at David Zwirner, Hong Kong, in March 2020. In 2009 at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Molesworth curated the first United States retrospective of Tuymans’s work.
Noah Davis (1983–2015) was a figurative painter and cofounder of theUnderground Museum (UM) in Los Angeles. Despite his untimely death at the age of thirty-two, Davis’ paintings are a crucial part of the rise of figurative and representational painting in the first two decades of the twenty-first century.
Loneliness and tenderness suffuse his rigorously composed paintings, as do traces of his abiding interest in artists such as Marlene Dumas, Kerry James Marshall, Fairfield Porter, [MarkRothko], and Luc Tuymans.Davis’ pictures can be slightly deceptive; they are modest in scale yet emotionally ambitious. Using a notably dry paint application and a moody palette of blues, purples, and greens, his work falls into two loose categories: There are scenes from everyday life, such as a portrait of his young son, a soldier returning from war, or a housing project designed by famed modernist architect Paul Williams. And there are paintings that traffic in magical realism, surreal images that depict the world both seen and unseen, where the presence of ancestors, ghosts, and fantasy are everywhere apparent.
Generous, curious, and energetic, Davis founded—along with his wife, the sculptor Karon Davis—the Underground Museum, an artist- and family-run space for art and culture in Los Angeles. The UM began modestly—Noah and Karon worked to join three storefronts in the city’s Arlington Heights neighborhood. Davis’ dream was to exhibit “museum-quality” art in a working-class black and Latino neighborhood. In the early days of the UM, Davis was unable to secure museum loans, so he organized exhibitions of his work alongside that of his friends and family, and word of mouth spread about Davis’ unique curatorial gestures.
In 2014 Davis began organizing exhibitions using works selected from the MOCA Los Angeles’ collection as his starting point. In the aftermath of Davis’ passing, the team of family and friends he gathered continued his work at the UM, transforming it into one of the liveliest and most important gathering places in Los Angeles for artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers, and activists. — Helen Molesworth
The exhibition NOAH DAVIS—curated by Molesworth—is now on view at David Zwirner in New York. An iteration of the show will open at the Underground Museum in Los Angeles in March 2020.
A new Davis monograph—featuring an introduction by Molesworth and oral history interviews that she conducted with Davis’ friends, family, and colleagues—is forthcoming.
For art and fashion lovers: In 2013 the artist Max Hooper Schneider created a silk scarf edition with P.P.M. Studio, Milan. We are offering the edition for purchase, as well as his last available original artwork from this series—dense, hand-drawn graphic lines recalling imaginative worlds and biologies—which will be part of a forthcoming book published by DoPe Press in September 2019.
In addition, we have invited some friends and family from Paris to share their publications and journals: ParaguayPress, MAY, and Profane.
From top: Cassi Namoda, Love and compromise between a clock and hyena, 2018, from “Selected Paintings,” PARIS LA 16; Liz Craft, …my life in the sunshine–Liz Craft 2006-2017 page layout; image from PARIS LA 16, drawing of Lotta Volkova by Cédric Rivrain, 2018; image from PARIS LA 14, photograph of Elizabeth Schmitt Jennerjahn and Robert Rauschenberg at Black Mountain College by Hazel Larsen Archer; image from Alex Hubbard, Eat Your Friends (DoPe Press, 2015); Max Hooper Schneider, silk scarf edition for P.P.M. Studio, 2013, photograph by Nuage Lepage, 2019; image from PARIS LA 14, Juliana Huxtable, Sympathy for the Martyr, 2015; image from Oscar Tuazon, Live (DoPe Press and Buchhandlung Walther König, 2014); cover image, Pentti Monkkonen, Box Truck Paintings (DoPe Press, 2014); PARIS LA 16 inside covers, Michèle Lamy, photograph by Katerina Jebb, 2018.