Sometimes we get a book we're so excited about that we just have to share it with the world, and Noah Davis's Seventy Works is one of those books. Seventy Works is a small book of small drawings, sized as such "for aesthetic as well as practical reasons."
And the aesthetics of the work alone are incredible. Davis incorporates elements of collage and photographic overpainting into these pieces, creating a chaotic, multidimensional world on every page. This world is further amplified by the heavy texture of the paintings, which creates an illusion of rough tactility -- you just want to reach out and touch each work.
In a 2013 interview with Art in America, Davis seemingly confessed of his practice, "Sometimes I wish there was this deeper meaning, but it really does come down to color," and color remains a focal point in this project. The reds are dark and deep, registering somewhere between rust and blood, while even traditionally airy colors like blue or green are weighted down, imbued with browns and blacks. However, the colors aren't kept separate; they vibrantly overlap in some state of constant flux that practically jumps off the page.
But contrary to Davis's statement, there are always deeper meanings or contexts to aesthetic works; they neither exist nor are created in a vacuum. Seventy Works was "created over the course of several months in 2014 in hospitals and dining tables throughout Los Angeles.” Art Catalogues' own Dagny Corcoran has supplied the epilogue for the book, and she comments that Davis, "paints what he sees and thinks.”
As such, Seventy Works thinks confession and catharsis, pulling the viewer through a lived experience with unabashed honesty and vitality. It's a painfully beautiful book that’s not easy to forget, and we're greatly looking forward to Noah Davis’s exhibition at The Underground Museum in March.