GERALD DAVIS - RORSCHACH PAINTINGS
16 March - 14 April 2019
The word projection has derivations in the Latin proicĕre which refers to throwing, throwing before. What is thrown forward, however, is not an external object but rather what it casts – the thrower throws himself. In a projective act, precisely what is already contained in the source of the projection is projected; it is an absolutely given poetic action; of oneself that guarantees replicability.
This word seems to cover the entire project that underpins Gerald Davis’s exhibition. The title of the exhibition is imbued with this word and the ten paintings and five diptychs are also imbued with it both in terms of their technical execution process and their bifid character; as well as their obscure analysis of pseudo-corresponding psychic evolutions in which the element of the double acts as a key to perceptibility.
This visual world is that of Hermann Rorschach, it is he who invented the famous test based on the projective method which is still in use today. You can almost smell the ten wooden canvases, as if Davis had gone and dug into the bowels of possible minds subjected to the test and in his canvases he had made that pulsating entanglement surreptitiously seen beyond symmetry. The works correspond to the stylistic evolution of the work of the artist that from his first exhibition titled “1986” dating back to 2006 in which the most hidden stages of the unconscious were decanted in all their vividness, through an extremely gradual process, he made more space for abstraction, a screamed abstraction in which Davis chooses to let the canvas speak, to free their forms in order to obtain visual worlds from which to continue coming out, dot by dot, jet by jet, those elements that have always characterised his work: skulls, heads, wet beings, sinuous figures, humans having sex.
The process of creating the works on display is the same as that used by Rorschach's for his sketches: in two paintings, in fact, half of the image was obtained by bending the canvas. As far as the other works are concerned there is always a specular image obtained by pressing two canvases, one over the other. Through the last process the result goes beyond abstraction, in fact by pressing some parts of the colour are removed and on the corresponding canvas spots appear left alone in their dialectal permanence. Looking at these latest works by Gerald Davis is like having the original pages in hand in which Rorschach noted his reflections, full of sighs, impulses, plots of thought, hungry voices, distortions, scratched by time but still laden with words to seem, in its visual equivalent, a fresco. The extremely detailed work of Davis danced to the detail of the non-figurative to highlight the meticulous, agitated and indecipherable composition of our unconscious.
Domenico de Chirico, 2019