News
Enrico David explores the human condition through shape and form
Document Journal
Ann Binlot
8 October 2018

A 20-year survey of Enrico David's work is on view at the MCA Chicago through spring 2019.

In Enrico David’s 2015 sculpture, Gradations of Slow Release, the Italian-born, London-based artist took a human form with a horrified face, manipulating its body until a grotesque, brown and green shape that resembles a warped tree trunk, with a wire twisting itself around the figure. The sculpture emulates the circular process that is imbued within his work, where imagery, shapes, and ideas come together. The title and idea of the sculpture, Gradations of Slow Release, is also the name of David’s exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, on view through March 10, 2019.

The survey of the artist, who has exhibited at the New Museum, Tate Britain, the Venice Biennale, spans 20 years, from a 1999 untitled image of a figure pulling at the brim of his or her hat, wrapped in twisting magenta and black stripes, to a 2018 sculpture that resembles a wood table with a head at its base. The artist’s work shows movement and emotion within the human form, capturing feelings of vulnerability, elation, pain, anguish, and more. David works in various mediums, using different materials to create works that are both abstract and figurative in nature, rope-like shapes are combines to create a piece in black and red that curves and climbs its way around, with red shapes that can either be bodies or abstract. In one painting, three curved, hat-like forms sit atop of what looks like an annoyed facial expression. David’s work contains elements that seem to come from the fashion world, human emotion, and the shapes and feelings that represent the movement and metamorphosis of the human condition.