Noah Davis

DAS MINSK Kunsthaus, Potsdam, Germany
07 Sep 2024 - 05 Jan 2025

Noah Davis

DAS MINSK Kunsthaus in Potsdam presents the largest institutional survey to date of the late artist Noah Davis (1983-2015), on view from September 7, 2024, to January 5, 2025. Bringing together over 50 works spanning the artist’s complete oeuvre, this major touring exhibition offers a comprehensive overview of Davis’ extraordinary practice. It will be the artist’s inaugural institutional retrospective, which will subsequently travel to the Barbican, London and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. The C& Center of Unfinished Business opens as part of the exhibition at DAS MINSK.

Curated chronologically, the retrospective presents Davis’ relentless creativity and curiosity commencing with his first exhibition in 2007, spanning eight years until his untimely death in 2015. Featuring previously unseen paintings, works on paper and sculpture, the exhibition pays special attention to the art historical and conceptual approaches in his practice, revealing that art history, imagery, humor, and above all, people were the epicenter of his work.

Committed to showing modern and contemporary art with a focus on art from the former GDR, DAS MINSK continues its conversation with the past from a contemporary perspective. The show at DAS MINSK highlights the artist’s unique perspective and extensive knowledge of the history of figurative painting, including German art, ranging from Neue Sachlichkeit and Magischer Realismus to the Leipziger Schule, while it simultaneously reveals, how his motifs riff on the so-called canon and question it by including his surroundings and community.

Based primarily in Los Angeles, Davis created a body of figurative paintings that explore a range of Black life. Believing he had a responsibility to represent the people around him, Davis drew on anonymous photography found in flea markets, personal archives, film and television, music, literature, art history and his imagination to create a ravishing body of work. Figures dive into swimming pools, sleep, dance, play music, read and look at public art in settings that can be both realistic and dreamlike, joyful, and melancholic. Often enigmatic, sometimes uncanny, Davis’ paintings reveal a deep feeling for people, humanity and the existential and universal layers of everyday life.

Motivated by the desire to change the way people view art, the way they buy art, the way they make art, Noah Davis and his wife Karon Davis co-founded The Underground Museum in 2012, an internationally renowned institution in the historically Black and Latinx neighborhood of Arlington Heights, Los Angeles.




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