In a world fascinated and obsessed with height, flight, and constant progress, St. Louis artist Vaughn T. Davis, Jr. responds by calling attention to the idea, mechanics and feeling of ascension. For his first site-specific installation in the city, Davis has created a collection of vibrant geometric forms characterized by his signature cut out, frayed, ripped, shredded and sliced surface treatments of flatly pigmented and unprimed large-scale canvases.
Influenced by urban decay, abandoned buildings and dilapidated houses visible throughout St. Louis, Davis utilizes the language of abstraction to synthesize this decay by distressing his canvas surfaces.
Through scale and simple geometry, predominantly triangular shapes, Davis symbolically introduces objects of flight such as airplanes, skyscrapers, staircases and birds.
Davis’ installation and creative process mirrors aspects of COCA’s building state: parts of which were demolished to make room for an expansion through major reconstruction.
As a fluid installation, Vaughn T. Davis, Jr.: Ascending Formswill undergo transformation during the course of the exhibition. Each of the canvases will be flipped, revealing a sibling color on its back, in a playful and deliberate approach to portray the process of rebirth through deconstructing works in the exhibition itself.
Vaughn T. Davis, Jr.: Ascending Forms is curated by Yvonne Osei, COCA Curator in Residence.
About The Artist:
Vaughn T. Davis Jr. a painter and multimedia artist born and raised in St. Louis. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Department Honors) in Sculpture at Webster University. Vaughn has previously exhibited at Philip Slein Gallery and The Luminary, The Pulitzer Arts Foundation, and Urb Arts, among other places.
Read ALIVE Magazine’s interview with Davis here
Vaughn T. Davis, Jr.: Ascending Forms on view in The Millstone Gallery from June 7 – September 1.
The Millstone Gallery at COCA is presented by the Arthur and Helen Baer Charitable Foundation with additional support from the Millstone Foundation and the Missouri Arts Council.