Laumeier Sculpture Park presents the first solo museum exhibition for St. Louis-based artist Vaughn Davis, Jr., titled The Fabric of Our Time, on view from Aug. 26 to Dec. 17.
The exhibition features recent and newly commissioned paintings, ceramics and flags, which will be presented in the Aronson Fine Arts Center as well as the Northern Grove.
Vaughn Davis, Jr. rips, tears and drapes pigmented canvases to transcend traditional notions of painting and push them into the realm of shape-shifting objects. His distress of materials refers to daily struggles and social protest, especially for Black and Brown communities.
As Laumeier Sculpture Park’s 2023 Kranzberg Exhibition Artist, Davis presents The Fabric of Our Time to further explore his visual vocabulary whereby he dismantles the picture plane, illustrating the performative nature of painting, testing its boundaries as moments cross into sculpture. Each canvas has multiple expressions within itself, manipulations include areas of spill, soaking dye and material fray, creating a spectacle of past actions Davis has enacted on the material.
Davis applies a similar tactile approach in his ceramic works, folding and splitting clay and using expressive glaze techniques. His clay works will be experienced as a sculptural wall installation, each perched on a series of towers, reflecting his interest in support structures such as shelves and pedestals as display mechanisms. Many of these ceramic pieces were made by Davis using Laumeier Sculpture Park’s clay studio and kilns.
Davis will also create two new flags, pushing his typically wall-bound works to consider the sky’s seemingly vacant space and further explore the “objectness” of his paintings and his observations on time. With these site-responsive flags, Davis will enter into a collaboration with nature, as his initial manipulation of the materials will be further subjected to the unpredictability of the weather and the forces of the wind.