Davina Semo: Treasury
March 4-April 15, 2023
Jessica Silverman is pleased to announce Davina Semo: Treasury, the third solo exhibition at the gallery by the Los Angeles-based artist, opening March 4 and on view through April 15, 2023 in the gallery’s second-floor space. Semo’s sculptural practice places the industrial in tension with delicate emotional states, traversing the human condition through a chain of material encounters. Later this year, Semo will be included in The Sky’s the Limit at the National Museum of Women in Arts (NMWA) as one of 12 sculptors featured in this inaugural exhibition opening on October 21, 2023.
The gallery exhibition will feature the artist’s well-known cast bronze bells, acrylic mirrors and patinated bronze reliefs and debut a new series of woven stainless steel and mirror work. Titled Kinship (2023), a steel mesh is adorned with scattered, playfully-colored painted aluminum letters that suggest the shared malleability between language and physical material. Reflections morph and transform amongst a fantastic blur of light, shadow and vernacular abstraction.
Two new polished, patinated cast bronze bells will be hung freely within the gallery space. The shimmering surface of Spirit (2023) is carved with a spiral that descends the three-foot length of the bell, signifying the passage of time or lifecycles. The other bell, Haunt (2023), is perforated with holes to suggest a bodily passage in which light and sound can travel. Both sculptures invite moments of reflective calm through the universal symbol of the bell, a public call to action.
Further intervention between materiality and appearance can be seen in the large-scale powder coated chain work Adore (2023). Coated in bright pink, the artist uses a feminized color to invert conventions around gender and aesthetic associations. It echoes the large mirrored tondo Twin (2023), a red acrylic surface with embedded ball bearings; both seem to escape the imposition of the built environment by granting agency to the viewer. In the span between oneself and the object of contemplation, Semo’s work provides a protected space to experience objects and the physical world anew.
Davina Semo (b. 1981, Washington DC) has a BA in Visual Arts and Creative Writing from Brown University and an MFA from University of California, San Diego. Semo has exhibited in group exhibitions at the Berkeley Art Museum, CA; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco; Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco; SOMArts, San Francisco; White Columns, New York; and a forthcoming exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. She recently enjoyed a solo exhibition at the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, Napa, for which Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Forrest Gander composed poetry in accompaniment with the artist’s sculpture. Semo has been awarded numerous commissions including a major solo installation at Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1, New York, organized by Public Art Fund in 2021. Semo lives and works in Los Angeles.