Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost: Vertical Configurations by Jose Dávila | Yellowtrace

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost: Vertical Configurations by Jose Dávila | Yellowtrace

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost: Vertical Configurations by Jose Dávila | Yellowtrace

 

First recognized for his photographic cutouts of the most significant buildings in the world, Mexican artist Jose Dávila continues to demonstrate his sculptural prowess with gravity-defying, captivating forms. For his latest series, Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost, Dávila explores a curated summary of materials that reoccur throughout the history of sculpture, creating his own interpretative timeline in the form of vertical configurations.

As if cropping and rephrasing words to create new text in the vein of William S. Burroughs and Brion Gysin, Dávila merges definitive elements from across the spectrum of sculpture – organic and industrial materials, found objects, minimal, figurative, and classic elements – into upright compositions. They resemble totem poles, both symbolizing and expanding on the definition of sculpture as an art form, and playing on the human aspiration to ‘ascend’ through life. They are imposing and important looking, as if spiritually significant to a mysterious faith.

 

Related: Jose Dávila’s Minimalist Gravity-Defying Sculptures.

 

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost: Vertical Configurations by Jose Dávila | Yellowtrace

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost: Vertical Configurations by Jose Dávila | Yellowtrace

 

Davila explains, “In his seminal text Totem und Tabu, Freud explains these objects as material reminders and warnings. They are also inhabited by immaterial beings, which implies an obvious contradiction for the Western mind.

Totems were destroyed or cloistered into the exhibition rooms of museums; columns were transformed into pedestals and plinths. Paradoxically these classic architectural elements took distance from the building itself and became a sort of transition ground between the sculptural object and the architectural space.”

 

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost: Vertical Configurations by Jose Dávila | Yellowtrace

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost: Vertical Configurations by Jose Dávila | Yellowtrace

 

Each element of Dávila’s totems represents the various aesthetic signatories of sculpture throughout art movements over the centuries. Perfect cubes balance atop ancient Roman figures; shiny chrome spheres contrast raw, rough-edged brick. The configurations are almost a visual summary, demonstrating iterations of distinct sculptural trends. Combining them in such a contrasting, methodically contradictory way feels a little rebellious.

Dávila’s inspired use of geometry and diverse materiality throughout his work continues to make us intrigued, which really counts for something in these over-saturated times.

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost was presented in the Villanueva pavilion at the Royal Botanical Garden in Madrid.

 

 


[Images courtesy Jose Dávila and TRAVESIA CUATRO.]

 

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