For over a decade, Jose Dávila’s (b. 1974, Guadalajara, Mexico) practice has explored spatial occupation and the transitory nature of physical structures. Drawing on his formal training as an architect, Dávila creates sculptural installations and photographic works that simultaneously emulate, critique, and pay homage to 20th century avant-garde art and architecture. Referencing artists and architects from Luis Barragán and Mathias Goeritz to Donald Judd, Dávila’s work investigates how the modernist movement has been translated, appropriated, and reinvented.
Around 2008, Davila began to create cut-out photographs, such as Buildings You Must See Before You Die. In this work, Dávila removed the central subject matter, the depictions of fifty architecturally renowned buildings. The resulting white silhouette simplifies the lines of the building while simultaneously amplifying the masterful designs that are recognized globally. In removing the building, the artist highlights the importance of context and surroundings in the field of architecture.