American artist Noah Davis's (1983-2015) body of work encompasses, on the one hand, his lush, sensual figurative paintings and, on the other, an ambitious institutional project called the Underground Museum, a black-owned-and-operated art space dedicated to the exhibition of museum-quality art in a culturally underserved African American and Latinx neighborhood in Los Angeles. Helen Molesworth is a Los Angeles-based writer and curator. While chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, she forged a partnership with the Underground Museum and organized the exhibitions Kahlil Joseph: Double Consciousness (2015) and Noah Davis: Imitation of Wealth (2015).
"Learning more about Noah Davis as I read his self-titled book --
and the community of artists for whom he has posthumously provided
a platform -- reminds me to relish the group of young Black
creatives I see creating impactful work today, in real
time."--Utibe Mbagwu "New York magazine"
"Published on the occasion of the 2020 exhibition at David Zwirner New York, this book is a comprehensive compendium of the late Noah Davis's poignant and extraordinary oeuvre."--Allison Schaller and Danielle Walsh "Vanity Fair"
"A new show at David Zwirner could secure the legacy of his 'mad genius' for years to come."--Taylor Dafoe "Artnet News"
"Context and legacy aside, the paintings are marvelous. Primarily figurative, they're narratively and emotionally murky yet fiercely charged with heat."--Wallace Ludel "Cultured Magazine"
"Davis's paintings have a dreamlike magnetism."--Scott Indrisek "Artsy"
"His works [are]... sumptuously surreal..."--Dessane Lopez Cassell "Hyperallergic"
"The exhibition... establishes him as one of the signal figurative painters of the era, and a once-in-a-generation colorist."--Andrew Russeth "Surface"
"The show [at David Zwirner New York] is so good--yet so poignantly final--that it leaves you feeling both euphoric and wretched... As art, it stands alone, 100 percent persuasive. But it also reminds us that Davis won't be producing more paintings. And that hurts."--Sebastian Smee "The Washington Post"
"This social and artistic evidence of Noah Davis' legend is there for all to see at Zwirner..."--Piotr Orlov "AFROPUNK"
"What's remarkable about Davis' work is that he's very ahead of the curve on a sort of flat figurative painting that's absolutely dominated the 21st century."--Jerry Saltz "New York Magazine"