Jose Dávila: Practical Structures

Exhibition Website

The SCAD Museum of Art presents "Practical Structures," a solo exhibition by Jose Dávila featuring newly commissioned work. A renowned Mexico-based multidisciplinary artist, Dávila uses site-specific installation, photography and appropriation of iconic images to explore the intersection of modern architecture and art. 

Originally trained as an architect, Dávila uses his expertise to explore material function, equilibrium, context and form throughout his artwork. His experimental structures are often calibrated specifically to the spaces in which they are installed. Their monumental components balance seemingly precariously from tethers made of ratchet straps, thus giving form to what he terms "the universal struggle of humanity against gravity."

The site-specific installation commissioned by the SCAD Museum of Art is composed of three large-scale, thinly sliced pieces of marble, balanced in a tilted configuration but held upright by industrial ratchet straps that stretch from the gallery’s walls. As such, the artist creates great dramatic visual and physical effects of height, weight and balance. Dávila draws from concepts rooted in minimalism and conceptual art, and encourages the viewer to question where the artist’s hand begins and ends. The raw, unpolished marble countered by the nylon straps demonstrates the dichotomy between naturally occurring materials and the manufactured.

Once the exhibition is complete, the three sculptures that make up the exhibition will be disassembled and the marble slabs returned to Savannah-based Garpa Company: House of Natural Stone, which lent the materials for the duration of the show. This simple act of return undermines the idea that art should exist in perpetuity and embraces the ephemeral.

Exhibition overview from museum website

  • Installation
  • Latin American
  • Contemporary
  • Mexico
  • Jose Dávila

Exhibition Venues & Dates