Enrico David: Gradations of Slow Release

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Chicago, IL, USA
Until 10 March 2019

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents Italian-born, London-based Enrico David, who has distinguished himself as one of the most original and fascinating artists working today. Using a wide range of media, David’s imagery revolves around the human figure and its many states of being, creating an encyclopaedic yet extremely personal accounting for the human form, from fragile and vulnerable to grotesque, tortured, and ecstatic.

Named after his sculpture of the same name, Gradations of Slow Release characterizes the circular process of his work where imagery and ideas slowly morph and evolve over time into different but related forms. Exploring the connections between privacy, introspection, interiority, and disembodiment, this survey traces David’s work over almost 20 years starting with Untitled (1999).

Themes of physical transition and transformation are tangible throughout David’s work, for example in his small-scale sculpture, The Assumption of Weee. The sculpture shows figures in phases of development as the figure grows out of the ground, or decline as it descends into a shapeless mass. With this and other works, such as The Incessant, David explores the circular evolution of life in a way that resembles stop-motion animation, or a sci-fi scene of zombie regeneration.

Gradations of Slow Release features drawing, sculpture, painting, tapestry, and installation works in conversation with each other—often as variations of similar ideas, shapes, and forms. Rooted in the act of drawing, this survey showcases the range of David’s processes and technical skill in a wide variety of materials and styles, from the figurative to the abstract.