Edited with text by Helen Molesworth. Interviews with Lindsay Charlwood, Dagny Corcoran, Daniel DeSure, Thomas Houseago, Deana Lawson, Henry Taylor, and Venus X by Helen Molesworth
Providing a crucial record of the painter Noah Davis’s extraordinary oeuvre, this monograph tells the story of a brilliant artist and cultural force through the eyes of his friends and collaborators.
Despite his exceedingly premature death at the age of 32, Noah Davis created emotionally charged work that places him firmly in the canon of great American painting. Stirring, elusive, and attuned to the history of painting, his compositions infuse scenes from everyday life with a magical realist atmosphere and contain traces of his abiding interest in artists such as Marlene Dumas, Kerry James Marshall, Fairfield Porter, Mark Rothko, and Luc Tuymans.
This catalogue is published on the occasion of the 2020 exhibition at David Zwirner, New York, which travels to the Underground Museum in Los Angeles, a space that Davis founded with his wife, artist Karon Davis. In her introduction, catalogue essay, and interviews with important figures in Davis’s life, curator Helen Molesworth shows how the artist’s generosity and sense of responsibility galvanized a uniquely supportive artistic community, culture, and vision. Through color illustrations and archival photographs, the book captures the intimate yet expansive spirit of a studio visit with the artist.
Publisher: David Zwirner Books / The Underground Museum
Artists: Noah Davis
Contributors: Helen Molesworth, Lindsay Charlwood, Dagny Corcoran, Daniel DeSure, Thomas Houseago, Deana Lawson, Henry Taylor
Publication Date: September 2020
Dimensions: 10 × 12 in | 25.4 × 30.5 cm
Reproductions: 95 color
Retail: $75 | £60
American artist Noah Davis's (1983–2015) body of work encompasses, on the one hand, his lush, sensual, figurative paintings and, on the other, an ambitious institutional project called the Underground Museum, a black-owned-and-operated art space dedicated to the exhibition of museum-quality art in a culturally underserved African American and Latinx neighborhood in Los Angeles.
Helen Molesworth is a Los Angeles–based writer, podcaster, and curator. Her major museum exhibitions include: Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957, This Will Have Been: Art, Love, and Politics in the 1980s, and Work Ethic. She has organized monographic exhibitions of Ruth Asawa, Moyra Davey, Noah Davis, Louise Lawler, Steve Locke, Kerry James Marshall, Catherine Opie, and Luc Tuymans. She is the author of numerous catalogue essays and her writing has appeared in Artforum, Art Journal, Documents, and October. The recipient of the 2011 Bard Center for Curatorial Studies Award for Curatorial Excellence, in 2021 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship and in 2022 she was awarded The Clark Art Writing Prize.