Monthly Archives: January 2020

Davina Semo: Core Reflections

Gallery 1
Davina Semo Messenger

Davina Semo, Messenger, 2019, polished and patinated cast bronze bell, whipped nylon line, wooden clapper, powder-coated chain, hardware, bell: 32 inches tall x 13 inches diameter, overall dimensions variable. Photo: John Wilson White. Image courtesy of Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, and the artist.

Generator, 2019 | Polished and patinated cast bronze bell, powder-coated chain and hardware, polyurethane clapper bell: 34.5 inches tall x 13 inches diameter, overall dimensions variable | Video, Hugo Corro

Transmitter, 2019 | Polished and patinated cast bronze bell, powder-coated chain and hardware, polyurethane clapper bell: 22 inches tall x 9.5 inches diameter, overall dimensions variable | Video, Hugo Corro

OPENING RECEPTION: SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2020

Davina Semo’s exhibition Core Reflections marks one of two inaugural projects in di Rosa’s Conversation Pieces series. The San Francisco-based artist works across two and three dimensions, often utilizing industrial materials that examine tensions between nature, society and the self. Her project for di Rosa considers the unique setting of Gallery 1 in relation to the landscape as well as its siting as a point of public assembly. Semo’s past works have looked to the urban environment for inspiration, much like key Beat era funk artists such as Bruce Conner, Wally Hedrick, George Herms, and Jay DeFeo, among others, that found potential in the overlooked, abject materials of the everyday, and defined the rise of Northern California assemblage in sculpture and collage of the 1950s and 1960s.
Semo’s commission for di Rosa inverts this lens by drawing on the surrounding industrial architecture of the gallery space amidst the expansiveness of the natural Northern California terrain just outside. Building on her more recent series of wall based works and suspended wax cast bronze bells that both invite and implicate the viewer through their highly polished reflective surfaces, Semo’s commission highlights the porous confines of di Rosa’s glass encased exhibition space, offering up a moment for viewers to examine themselves within the uncertainty of exterior forces.
Recent travels to Greece have inspired the artist’s emphasis on the Gallery 1 platform as an entry point for the viewer, conjuring the concept of the ancient agora, or an open public gathering space. Within this, we encounter a number of Semo’s substantial bells which hang by a variety of industrial grade chains, inviting viewers to walk around their forms and engage in their utility as instruments for expressing a call to attention. Two sets of wall-based works surround the gallery space: one continuing the artist’s explorations of warped, luminous surfaces that recall domestic mirrors, and in turn, our own visages; and the other, an entirely new exploration of acrylic and woven metal mesh substrates tethered with 3D printed casts of the sensuous skyfruit mahogany seed pod.
Taken as a whole, Semo’s assembly of works for di Rosa creates a subtle yet ecstatic mode of corporeal engagement by prompting a reevaluation of our contemporary mindset ruled by anxieties and unease. Core Reflections invites sustained moments of introspection and contemplation within the permeable precipice of built and organic space.

About the Artist

Davina Semo (b. 1981, Washington, DC) earned her BA at Brown University in 2003 and her MFA from the University of California, San Diego in 2006. Semo has shown extensively throughout the United States and Europe, including solo exhibitions at Jessica Silverman Gallery (San Francisco) and Marlborough Chelsea (New York). Group exhibitions include Hair and Skin at Derek Eller Gallery (New York), TOUCHPIECE at Hannah Hoffman Gallery (Los Angeles) and Show Me as I Want to Be Seen at The Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco). Davina Semo lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Semo is represented by Jessica Silverman Gallery (San Francisco), Marlborough Gallery (New York), and Ribordy Thetaz (Geneva).

Akea Brown Oxbow School Visiting Artist Lecture Series, co-presented with di Rosa

CIA Copia Auditorium, Napa

di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is pleased to co-present Oxbow School’s lively Artist Lecture Series. On five evenings each semester, Oxbow and local communities gather to hear working artists talk about their creative process and listen to their views on what art is, what art means, and how artists think. These lectures are free and open to the public and have included such artists as Roy De Forest, Wayne Thiebaud, Squeak Carnwath, William Wiley, Inez Storer, and Deborah Oropallo.

Akea Brionne Brown is a photographer, writer, curator, and researcher whose personal work investigates the implications of historical racial and social structures in relation to the development of contemporary black life and identity within America. With a particular focus on the ways in which history influences the contemporary cultural milieu of the American black middle class, she explores current political and social themes, as they relate to historical forms of oppression, discrimination, and segregation in American history.

Free lecture takes place in the CIA Copia auditorium from 7 – 8:30 pm.

Artist Biography: Akea Brionne has received the Visual Task Force Award from the National Association of Black Journalists. Her work is also featured in the Smithsonian’s Ralph Rinzler Collection and Archives, and was recently acquired by the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art Collection. She was announced the 2018 Winner for Duke University’s Center for Documentary Arts Collection Award, as the 2018 Documentarian of Color. Her series, Black Picket Fences, was acquired for their permanent collection, and is on preserve at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. She was nominated for PDN’s 30 (Photo District News) 2018: New and Emerging Photographers to Watch. Brown was recently named the 2019 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Winner, juried by Laylah Ali, William Powhida, and Regina Basha.

Akea received her BFA (2018) from the Maryland Institute College of Art, in the dual degree program of Photography and Humanities. She is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana and is currently based in Baltimore, Maryland.

akeabrionnebrown.com

 

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