Jaime Davidovich is perhaps best known in New York for his original contributions to the video and television practices of the 1970s and early 1980s through Cable Soho and the Artists’ Television Network. Nevertheless, his incursion into video and television was the result of more than two decades of artistic experimentation that developed from an initial interest in monochrome painting to an engagement with space and process aligned with the Minimalist and site-specific practices on the 1960s and early 1970s. Born in 1936, his life and artistic pursuits took him from his native Argentina, to Brazil, where he spent a short period of time in the late 1950s, and in 1963 to New York City, where he has lived ever since.
Evocative of his quest for “the meaning of the avant-garde” in the video that gives the title to this exhibition, the selection of works presented here charts Davidovich’s transit through different iterations of the avant-garde; from an early exploration in the monochrome’s possibilities and spatial concerns that would also later inform his site-specific works of the late sixties and early seventies, to the video works of the of the same period up until the 1990s, which not only pioneered the use of television as a medium but also addressed themes such as identity, diaspora and globalization. The artist’s singular use of tape as a medium, as a surface, as a space, and then its transfiguration into the medium of video-tape is revisited through the presentation of several bodies of work that highlight the process-based and site-specific nature of his practice as well as Davidovich’s engagement with experimental practices throughout his trajectory of the past five decades.
Organized by guest curator Julieta González.
With the support of ISLAA (Institute for Studies on Latin American Art) and Clarissa and Edgar Bronfman, Jr.
Jaime Davidovich: Adventures of the Avant-Garde – March 26 to June 14, 2015