MOCA LA Acquires Karon Davis’ Noah and his Ark, 2018 from Wilding Cran Gallery

Karon Davis, Noah and his Ark, 2018, Wooden row boat, various found objects, plaster strips, chicken wire, steel armature, glass eyes, 46 x 155 x 50 inches, 116.8 x 393.7 x 127 cm.
Art Martin Cid Magazine

We are thrilled to announce the acquisition of Karon Davis’ Noah and his Ark, 2018 by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Originally exhibited in MUDDY WATER at Wilding Cran Gallery in 2018, the acquisition of Noah and his Ark, 2018 was made possible by the generous donation of Beth Rudin DeWoody.

As a reflection on climate disaster, displacement, and the inadequacy of governmental relief programs, the sculptural installation of Noah and his Ark features a man pulling a woman and young girl in a rickety boat filled with personal possessions. Depicted as though emerging from imaginary waters, Davis’ contemporized figures recall ancient archetypes, reflecting the cyclical nature of recurring environmental disasters. By centering the narratives of communities most deeply impacted by crisis and destruction, Noah and his Ark imparts the resilience of humanity in the midst of struggle.

Throughout her practice, Karon Davis draws upon elements of theatricality and mythology to explore issues of humanity, survival, and ways of being. Her background in dance, film, and theater further informs her approach to representing the body and how humans relate to one another on a physical level. Through live-casting, the artist’s static figurative sculptures capture experiences and emotions that are at once deeply personal and universally familiar.

Karon Davis (b. 1977, Reno, Nevada) creates sculptures and multimedia installations that touch on issues of history, race, and violence in the United States, using materials as varied as plaster strips, chicken wire, glass, and readymade objects. Drawing on her background in theater and film, Davis creates haunting tableaux inhabited by protagonists both historical and imagined. The figures are created using the artist’s unique plaster method, amalgamations of life-size casts taken from friends and family as well as her own body. The material reflects her longtime interest in ancient Egyptian mummification practices, using wrapping to memorialize different bodies and their complex histories.

Davis grew up in New York and attended Spelman College before studying film at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Museum exhibitions include: Karon Davis: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; To Begin Again: Artists and Childhood, ICA Boston, Boston MA; Black American Portraits, LACMA, Los Angeles, CA; Starless Midnight, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle, UK; NEW SUNS, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, NL; and Reclamation! Pan- African Works from the Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection at the Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, VA. Gallery solo and group exhibitions include: Beauty Must Suffer, Salon 94, NY, NY, MUDDY WATER and Pain Management, Wilding Cran Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Noah Davis, David Zwirner, NY, NY; No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, Jeffrey Deitch, NY, NY/Los Angeles, CA; FEEDBACK, curated by Helen Molesworth, Jack Shainman Gallery | The School, Kinderhook, NY; POWER, Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles, CA; Rock my Soul curated by Isaac Julien, Victoria Miro, London, UK; CONDO London, Herald St., London, UK, and Dreamweavers, UTA Artist Space, Los Angeles, CA. Davis is a recipient of The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation 2017 Biennial Grant. Davis’ work is in the collections of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami FL; The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX; The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Beth Rudin DeWoody Collection, The Bunker, West Palm Beach, FL; and the Rubell Museum, Miami, FL and Washington D.C.

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