Seattle-born, Los Angeles-based artist Noah Davis—known for his large-scale figurative canvases marked by drips, stains and watery veiled layers of paint—delivers a balmy brand of expressionism that these days calls to mind Luc Tuymans and Marlene Dumas. A graduate of Cooper Union, Davis has been included in such acclaimed group exhibitions as "30 Americans" at the Rubell Family Collection in Miami, and "Fore" at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
A.i.A. sat down with Davis in what he calls the Underground Museum, his experimental art space/studio/residence in L.A.'s Crenshaw district, on the eve of "The Missing Link," his solo exhibition at Roberts & Tilton [through Mar. 30].
Pax Kaffraria: Sikhueselo Sembumbulo (2012), Botswana-born painter Meleko Mokgosi's stunning 60-foot-long canvas currently on view at the Hammer Museum at part of "Made in L.A.," presents viewers with a portrait of postcolonial life in southern Africa. Comprising 10 interlocking panels and wrapping three gallery walls, the painting evidences Mokgosi's unusual social realism, involving both crisply rendered figures from African society and politics, and passages of raw empty canvas. This allusive visual strategy, in which larger-than-life African priests, soldiers and grandmothers float atop blank zones of negative space, results in a "realism" that is magical, imaginative and fluid. Rather than emulating journalistic set pieces with fixed story frames, Mokgosi's paintings come to us as detective stories or dreamscapes from a faraway continent.
Raised in the city of Maun in the heart of the Okavango Delta, Mokgosi began drawing in primary school. "I drew for years in Botswana, mostly self-portraits and images from photographs, before emigrating to the United States in 2003 to attend Williams College. It was there that I really started painting."
Currently on view in the group show "Redux" at New York's Cristin Tierney Gallery (through Feb. 4) are two works by Joe Fig, both related to his 200