Press Release  January 28, 2021

Kenturah Davis: Everything That Cannot Be Known


Kenturah Davis: Everything That Cannot Be Known

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA — SCAD University Press, the imprint of the Savannah College of Art and Design, announces the release of Kenturah Davis: Everything that Cannot be Known, the artist’s debut monograph commemorating her first solo institutional exhibition at the SCAD Museum of Art, Feb. 6–Dec. 13, 2020. Featuring a foreword by SCAD President and Founder Paula Wallace, preface by Diane von Furstenberg, and essay by curator Humberto Moro, the catalog also includes poems by Jayy Dodd.


Portrait of Kenturah Davis

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.

Kenturah Davis is an artist working between Los Angeles, New Haven and Accra (Ghana). Her work oscillates between various facets of portraiture and design. Using text as a point of departure, she explores the fundamental role that language has in shaping how we understand ourselves and the world around us. This manifests in a variety of forms including drawings, textiles, sculpture, and performances. Davis was commissioned by LA Metro to create large-scale, site-specific work that will be permanently installed on the new Crenshaw/LAX rail line, opening in 2020. Her work has been included in institutional exhibitions in Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe. Davis earned her BA from Occidental College and MFA Yale University School of Art. Davis was an inaugural artist fellow at NXTHVN in New Haven, CT.

SCAD University Press: From elegant monographs to stunning collectible prints to inventive digital platforms, SCAD University Press amplifies original voices in fresh formats, As the imprint of the Savannah College of Art and Design,the press joins the university’s programs at the leading edge of art, design, style, and entertainment.

Matthew Brown Los Angeles was founded in 2019. Blur in the Interest of Precision, a monumental exhibition by Kenturah Davis, was the gallery’s premier exhibition. The gallery’s programming includes solo shows by Tomm El-Saieh, Dan Herschlein, Sedrick Chisom, Vincent Valdez, Luis Flores, Tajh Rust, and  Heidi Lau, with forthcoming exhibitions by Sasha Gordon and Fin Simonetti. These artists form the gallery’s foundation and initial roster. Cal Siegel, Nobuya Hoki, Andy Goldsworthy, and Andrew Kerr will occupy the gallery’s diverse programming through 2020.

The Savannah College of Art and Design is a private, nonprofit, accredited university, offering more than  100 academic degree programs in more than 40 majors across its locations in Atlanta and Savannah,  Georgia; Lacoste, France; and online via SCAD eLearning and SCADnow. 

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