Opening reception: Saturday, May 12, 6—8pm
Blum & Poe is pleased to announce the gallery’s first exhibition with Italian-born, London-based artist Enrico David. This is the artist’s first show in Los Angeles since his presentation at the Hammer Museum in 2013 and will precede the first museum survey of his work in the US, opening at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago in September and travelling to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. thereafter.
“The body is a pulsating unknown, always a new vehicle of transformation. Sometimes it feels like a fresh ruin in need of maintenance, sometimes an instrument of magic that rubs against a world upon which it tries to establish possibilities. A channel. An abyss. Unravelling grilled meat, a fissure that postpones nothing for later, unable to subordinate one order of things to another. Transformation central.” — Enrico David
This exhibition presents recent sculpture and hanging fiber works, two facets of David’s expansive practice that also encompasses drawing, painting, and installation, germinating from the artist’s interest in the psychic and corporeal properties of transformation and adaptation. Engaging drawing as an entry point for making work in all forms, David weaves together techniques ranging from industrial design and traditions of craft, thematically focusing on the human condition—the fluid and impermanent state of the body; the states of harmony, desire, disquietude, of the mind. Art historical, literary, and autobiographical narratives alike inform his practice. As curator Rita Selvaggio so deftly put it: “In Enrico David’s work, personal memories, declinations of eventualities, literary allusions and private tragedies are grafted onto a dictionary of visual references that range from Art Deco to the applied arts, from the Wiener Werkstätte to Joseph Beuys.”
This show centers around a grouping of sculptures in bronze and Jesmonite, contorted figures that merge and diverge, their brooding faces often outlined in graphite. Adjacent hanging works present testimonies of psychological tension in the form of felted merino fleece, wicker, rubber, brass, fiber cloth, and large-scale tapestries. Encountered together in one place, the works in this exhibition engender metamorphosis.
Enrico David (b. 1966, Italy) lives and works in London. His work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions worldwide, including Fault Work, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE (2016); Autoparent, Lismore Castle, Scotland (2016); The Hepworth Wakefield (2015); Maramotti Collection, Reggio Emilia (2015); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2013); Head Gas, New Museum, New York (2011); Repertorio Ornamentale, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice (2011); How Do You Love Dzzzzt by Mammy?, Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel (2009); Bulbous Marauder, Seattle Art Museum (2008); and Ultra Paste, ICA London (2007). In 2013 David presented a major installation of paintings, tapestries, and sculptures as part of The Encyclopedic Palace, curated by Massimiliano Gioni for the Venice Biennale.