In larger-than-life-scaled work navigating the space between image and text, Davis explores the role of language in shaping how we understand ourselves and the world around us. Reworking photographs from fact to fiction, she uses mark-making processes, including her own handwriting and rubber letter stamps, to explore the impossibilities of representing Black bodies. Often blurred by other layers of material treatment, her figures seem to display auras or traces of movement in areas of raised or recessed relief. Witnessing the works’ graphic complexity as a metaphor, the viewer ultimately wonders: can the multitudes of our identities ever be known?
Based across Los Angeles, California; New Haven, Connecticut; and Accra, Ghana, Davis works in drawing, painting, sculpture, and performance and is interested in language and its relationship to the formation of identity. Her multilayered process includes different forms of translation: from text to image, reality to representation. Her figures often intersect with words or appear in movement. Exploring the potential of transmutable materials, she interrogates the human essence. Davis is represented by Matthew Brown Los Angeles.Published by SCAD University Press with the SCAD Museum of Art, Kenturah Davis: Everything that Cannot Be Known is coproduced by Matthew Brown Los Angeles and SCAD.