Jose Dávila

Homage to the Square


Hand-cut ceramic and gold glaze
11.81 x 11.81 x 3.15 in. (30 x 30 x 8 cm)
Edition of 30 + 2 AP


LAND,, and Phaidon present the Guadalajara-based artist Jose Dávila’s newest limited edition produced by Artspace to benefit LAND. Homage to the Square appropriates Josef Albers’ work of the same title, in an exercise of redefinition and investigation in spatial relationships.

Transforming Albers’ iconic two-dimensional prints and paintings into three-dimensional sculptures, Dávila draws upon depth and relief to simulate the subtle chromatic differences underpinned by Albers. Unlike Albers who was concerned with geometric precision, Dávila alters the square’s mathematic per-fection through handcrafting. Dávila’s handmade ceramic squares controvert the principles of equality of sides and the right angle, thus functioning as a simulacrum of the squares of Albers. Dávila’s use of gold paint for this edition pays homage to the German/Mexican artist Mathias Goeritz and his series of Mensajes Metacromáticos: boards of varying sizes and thicknesses whose surfaces were covered in gold leaf. These overlapping references to Albers and Goeritz are characteristic of Dávila’s work, as he often melds together varying canonical (and non-canonical) modernist and architectural trajectories from Latin America and beyond.

Proceeds from the sale of this limited edition will directly support LAND’s upcoming exhibition with Dávila in fall of 2017 as part of The Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative. Trained as an architect, Dávila creates sculptural installations and photographic works that use reproduction, homage, and imitation to both explore and dismantle the legacies of 20th century avant-garde art and architecture. Referencing artists and architects from Luis Barragán and Mathias Goeritz to Donald Judd, Dávila explores how the modernist movement has been translated, appropriated, and reinvented in Mexican art. LAND will present a mid-career survey of Dávila’s work that will include the artist’s sculptural installations, photographs, studies, drawings, proposals, and models, as well as a new interactive public sculpture. The exhibition will be anchored by a new major large-scale public sculptural project that will disperse into various locations throughout Los Angeles, CA.