Beyond Photography

Douglas Davis

Nov 23 – Dec 28, 1985

Douglas Davis

Venus at Her Sony (After Velazquez), 1984

Description


Douglas Davis explores the third dimension of art and thought in his exhibition BEYOND PHOTOGRAPHY opening Saturday, November 23rd at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts.

To break hold of the flat, monocular image, Davis invites the viewer into a new realm, through twelve double-imaged photographs and six viewing booths (each offering entry into three dimensions). The framed pictures are mounted with handles and control buttons linked to recorded sound. The booths are equipped with an extraordinary mirrored viewer, invented by Charles Wheatstone in 1838. The precursor of the popular stereo viewer, long-forgotten device transforms flat, conventional images into ones of depth and dimension.

Ranging in size from 16" x 24" to life-sized 40" x 80" prints – in color and black & white – these photographs cross the line that divides photography from painting. Produced with both traditional 35 mm and advanced, state-of-the-art Polaroid cameras, the photographs combine several juxtaposed images (often mirror reflections of each other) in a scale, vibrancy, and subtlety of color reminiscent of painting and motion picture film. In the deepest sense, these photographs contradict the definition of "photography', as Davis's work in video and film has challenged the limits of those mediums.

The work in this exhibition pays homage to three men who are notable for challenging and breaking down the restrictions imposed upon the mediums they worked in: Charles Wheatstone, Leonardo, and Velasquez. Velasquez's famous painting, Venus at Her Mirror, is recalled in a pair of images at the heart of the exhibition . The new Venus, modeled by Alison R. Pilcher, gazes past her mirror at a tiny television set. Other models who perform in this exhibition are Joan Worth, Jana Tvedt, and the artist himself.

A booklet with extended captions for each photograph is available for reading at the gallery desk.

Douglas Davis is an artist who has chosen to work in a wide range of mediums, from performance, film and video to printmaking and drawing. His most recent film, (Psycho Mein Amour), was featured in the 1985 Whitney Biennial and is now touring the U.S. under the auspices of the American Federation of the Arts. He has exhibited regularly at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts since 1977 and in many museums here and abroad, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, and the Museum Szturi, Lodz, Poland. Davis has participated in group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Tate Gallery, Documenta, and the Venice Biennale.

View Press Release

Douglas Davis

Triplicity (After Leonardo), 1984

Douglas Davis

Triplicity (After Leonardo), 1984

Douglas Davis

In the Dark, 1984

Douglas Davis

Venus at Her Sony (After Velazquez), 1984

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