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Transient figures and intangible forms by Enrico David on view at the Hammer Museum
Enrico David, “Untitled”, 2009 (paper figures). Graphite on paper, in two parts, overall:, 28 3/4 x 119 x 12 1/4 inches, 73 x 302 x 31 cm. Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York and London.
LOS ANGELES, CA.- Transient figures and intangible forms dwell in the work of Enrico David. They retain a graphic quality as they transition from spontaneous sketches on paper to paintings, sculptures, and other media. This installation takes its cue from a singular figure modeled in bronze around a hollow animal bone and bound to a protruding blade. The statuette is like an anthropomorphic pocketknife that embodies both permanence, through its molded outlines, and ephemerality, through its gaping cavity. Around it, paper mummies crawl across the wall, haunting silhouettes peer out of canvases, and ethereal profiles delineate see-through metal screens. The infinite shifts and vortexes of David’s underworld are evoked in portraits drifting towards a dark tunnel in one of his drawings, and the repetitive loops of a large handcrafted tapestry. Groundless images and vacuous gazes exude a sense of unease in the visitor, who is at once observer and participant in a staged scene. The exhibition’s components recall the miscellaneous displays of regional arts and crafts museums, but they could also be props for a Surrealist set.

The exhibition is organized by Allegra Pesenti, curator, Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts.

Enrico David was born in Ancona, Italy in 1966. His work has been the subject of numerous one-person exhibitions at venues such as the New Museum, New York (2012); Museum Fr Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland (2009); the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington (2008); ICA, London, United Kingdom (2007); the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2007); and Tate Britain, London, United Kingdom (2005). David’s work has been featured in group exhibitions including Secret Societies, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany and CAPC Bourdeaux, France (2011); Turner Prize 09, Tate Britain, London, United Kingdom (2009); Textile Art and the Social Fabric, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp, Belgium (2009); Italics: Italian Art between Tradition and Revolution 1968-2008, Palazzo Grassi, Venice and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2008); Tate Triennial, New British Art, Tate Britain, London, United Kingdom (2006); Flesh at War with Enigma, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland (2004); and Dreams and Conflicts, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2003). Enrico David lives in Berlin, Germany.



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