News
Review: Enrico David
The New York Times
Roberta Smith
16 January 2015

From show to show, you never quite know where Enrico David is going to land, but it’s almost always in the vicinity of figures of a mystical or fantastical sort. Usually he also finds a patch of unlikely yet solid ground.
Mr. David, who was born in Italy in 1966 and lives in London, began with paintings in the form of embroidered, sometimes bejeweled birds. At the New Museum in 2012, he displayed canvases in acrylic and graphite that looked mostly like pale clouds and were inhabited by some sort of minimally indicated presence or spirit.
Now he is showing the latest examples of the sculptures he has been making for several years. Some are small, somewhat malformed figures that seem carved and molded from large chunks of ivory and might have been excavated from an ancient ruin. (They are actually made of Jesmonite, a gypsum compound.) Some are individual figures, like the elaborately coifed and bearded prophet of “Roman Toilet.”
Two sculptures whose repeating figures suggest motion and transformation are especially intriguing. “The Assumption of Weee,” a composite of nine bodies, suggests someone being drawn upward, or rising, Lazarus-like. The five figures of “Putting Up With It” — each seated on another’s lap — bend in on themselves as if crushed by a weight, but also like a family cleaving to its youngest member.
There are also some equally evocative but more abstract linear pieces in which darkened Jesmonite resembles bronze. You may spend more time here than you expect.