Noah Davis at Roberts & Tilton
Flash Art, Spring 2010
by Eve Wood
Noah Davis' most recent exhibition, "The Forgotten Works" on view at Roberts & Tilton is staggering in both its scope and visceral resonance. Inspired by an experimental fictional narrative entitled In Watermelon Sugar, by Richard Brautigan, Davis seeks not so much to represent or illustrate Brautiganšs story in any literal fashion, but to transform Brautiganšs literary vision into a launching pad for his own apocryphal dream.
The painting "The Summer House" is strangely alluring and open-ended like a bizarrely mythic moment frozen in time. A young black man stands considering a conceptual sculptural form that seems to have been set down at the end of long driveway behind which stands a manor house. The man is completely passive, and really the only active, energized space in the painting is the sculpture itself, which looms over everything, kinetic and fiercely alive, implying perhaps that art, or the making of art is both a useless and necessary practice, useless to the world at large, yet vital to a select and loyal few.
Other works in the exhibition are more naturalistic and oddly stylized. "Prey" appears as a near-breathtaking homage to animal and woman alike. Who is being stalked here? The naked woman bows in admonition of the doe wherein both figures offer themselves to each other, creating a true reckoning between man and beast.