Kenturah Davis: Dark Illumination

February 9 - April 29, 2023

For the culmination of her residency, and in her first solo institutional exhibition in Los Angeles, Kenturah Davis presents a body of work that illuminates the significance of shadows in our sensory experience.

Drawing inspiration from Jun’ichirō Tanizaki’s classic text, In Praise of Shadows, Davis explores the premise that shadows and darkness do not just produce conditions that conceal, but that they can also reveal and illuminate. Using hybrid forms of drawing, photography and printmaking, Davis experiments with various modalities that interrogate the contingent relationship between shadow and light.

Davis’ practice—at the intersection of text, image, and object—considers how we embody and disseminate meaning. Her work extends to questions and explorations that help unpack social and cultural conventions and hierarchies, and consider ideas rooted in philosophy, physics, literature and anthropology.

Davis’ drawing practice is born from an interest in the earliest forms of writing and mark-making. Ancient mechanisms of inscription by early civilizations, whether on monumental temple walls or clay tiles, set a precedent for how we visualize information. Her experiments with the physicality of language guide her practice. By integrating text and portraiture, Davis blurs the distinction between writing and drawing and animates the dynamic process in which language frames how we understand ourselves and the world around us.

This exhibition and related programming are made possible by generous support from the Kathryn Caine Wanlass Charitable Foundation.

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