Davis & Davis

Print print



Born: (Scott) 1954, Keene, NH; (Denise) 1959, New York, NY


2005 (Scott) California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA: MFA, Art
1999 (Denise) California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA: MFA, Art
1986 (Scott) University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH: BA, Art and Communications

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

2012 "Two Headed Monster" (2-team exhibition with CamLab), Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (curated by Jason Ramos)
2011 "Planet X," Marx & Zavattero, San Francisco, CA
"Dream Big," L2Kontemporary, Los Angeles, CA
2009 "Ring the Changes," Marx & Zavattero, San Francisco, CA
2008 "Davis & Davis: Childish Things," Cal Poly Pomona Downtown Center, Pomona, CA
2006 "Climates of Deception" and "Planet X," Heather Marx Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2005 "Childish Things," Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA
"1 Year Later," Telic, Los Angeles, CA
2004 "Childish Things and Small Talents," Heather Marx Gallery, San Francisco, CA
-scope New York (Featured Artist), Hotel Gansevoort, New York, NY
2003 Zone 9 Art, Los Angeles, CA
Herbert Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2002 "Lil' Giants," Heather Marx Gallery, San Francisco, CA
"Modern Romance," American Intercontinental University,
Los Angeles School of Design, Los Angeles, CA
2001 Watts Towers Art Center, Los Angeles, CA
2000 Catharine Clark Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Greenleaf Gallery, Whittier College, Whittier, CA
Gallery 207, Los Angeles, CA
1999 MFA Thesis Show, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
Black Dragon Society, Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA
Cypress College Fine Arts Gallery, Cypress, CA
Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro, CA
1998 Skylight Gallery, Brand Library, Glendale, CA
BSU Visual Art Center Gallery, Boise State University, Boise, ID

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2012 "21st Century SEX," Bleicher Gallery La Brea, Los Angeles, CA
2011 "Sea Change: The 10th Anniversary Exhibition," Marx & Zavattero, San Francisco, CA
"One Night Stand Italy," Rome, Florence, and Venice, Italy
2010 "Ordinary Miracles," SlaughterhouseSpace, Healdsburg, CA
"TBA: A Group Video Exhibition in 7 Parts," Kristi Engle Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2009 "Sustainability," Woodbury Hollywood Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA
2008 "And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon," Collectors Contemporary, Petro Centre, Singapore
"The Art of Diorama," Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA
2007 "Dangerous Beauty," Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY (traveling to Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, Naples, Italy)
"Unseriously Serious," Linda Warren Gallery, Chicago, IL
"Touched: Armory Artists & Social Engagement," Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA (curated by Noel Korten)
"Corporate Art Expo '07," The LAB, San Francisco, CA (curated by Shane Montgomery)
2006 "Bedtime Stories," LIMN Gallery, San Francisco, CA
"Oh, You Beautiful Doll," Andrea Meislin Gallery, New York, NY (curated by Douglas F. Maxwell)
"H2Eau," Red House Gallery, Venice, CA (curated by Ashley McLean Emenegger & Evelyn FitzGibbon)
"See Jane Run," Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA
2004 -scope Miami, TownHouse Hotel, Miami Beach, FL
2003 "Not So Cute & Cuddly: Dolls & Stuffed Toys in Contemporary Art,"
Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, KS
-scope Miami, TownHouse Hotel, Miami Beach, FL
"edge: Fresh Visions," Gensler, San Francisco, CA (curated by Britta Campbell)
"El Show de Gran Pop-ularidad," I-5 Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
"Fun and Games," Winslow Garage, Los Angeles, CA
2002 "MetaPet," MOCA @ the Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood, CA
"Eleven Bulls: 15 Artists," projectGreen, Brooklyn, NY
"Richard Heller's Desk," Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
"The Harvey Show," I-5, Los Angeles, CA
"The Multiple Road," Patricia Correia Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
2001 "The Inaugural Exhibition," Heather Marx Gallery, San Francisco, CA
"Mission: Intergalactic," Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA
"Fluid Sexuality," EBC1, Rotterdam, Netherlands
"The B Sides," Newspace Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
"Fresh," Gallery 207, Los Angeles, CA
"Travelsmart and Filing Cabinet," Dirt, Los Angeles, CA
"Out of Site," Pasadena City College Gallery, Pasadena, CA
2000 "Above and Beyond," Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA
"The DNC Show," Arco Building, Los Angeles, CA
"Future Perfect," Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, NY
"River Visions," Arroyo Arts Collective, Los Angeles, CA
1999 "Candyland," Holly Matter, Los Angeles, CA
"Divine Intervention," Action:Space, Los Angeles, CA
"Convulsive Beauty and Its Discontents," California State University at Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
"Facing Fear," San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco, CA
"Projections: Intermission Images IV and V," Laemmle's Grand Fourplex, Los Angeles, CA
No Title (CalArts MFA Graduates), Bradbury Building, Los Angeles, CA
"The Bathroom Show," New Image Art, Los Angeles, CA
"Revisions," Bruce Gallery, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
1998 "Contact," at the Brewery Project, Los Angeles, CA
"The Fragmented Body: Violence or Identity?" W. Keith and Janet Kellogg Art Gallery, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA
"Without Alarm II," Arroyo Arts Collective, Lincoln Heights Jail, Los Angeles, CA
"L.A. Art Exhibition," California State University at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
"L.A. Current: The Canvas is Paper," Art Rental and Sales Gallery, UCLA/Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
1997 "Are We Touched? Identities from Outer Space," Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach, CA
"saFARi," Far Bazaar at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA
"They Came Here First!" Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA
1996 "Home," Downey Museum of Art, Downey, CA
LACPS Photo-Arts Annual, Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies, Los Angeles, CA

Selected Bibliography:

2011 Feinstein, Lea, "'Sea Change: Part One' at Marx & Zavattero," ARTnews, December, p. 113
Morris, Barbara, "Davis & Davis: 'Planet X' at Marx & Zavattero," art ltd., May/June, p. 20
Swanhuyser, Hiya, "No Relation to Malcolm," SF Weekly (Night & Day section), April 13,
p. 24
"Harold Angel" (full-page reproduction), The New Yorker, March 14, p. 60
Eisenhart, Mary, "Don’t Miss: Planet X," San Francisco Chronicle (96 Hours section),
March 31, p. 14
Hirsch, Caroline, "Frames from Fiction: Crazy for Kewpies," The New Yorker Photo Booth, March 8
Moret, A., "Davis & Davis @ L2Kontemporary," Whitehot Magazine, February
2009 Swanhuyser, Hiya, "Ding Ding Ding!", SF Weekly (Night & Day section), February 18, p. 25
2008 Zavala, Michael, "Downtown Center toys with photography exhibit: 'Childish Things' examines youthful memories, stories," The Poly Post, April 8
2007 Slome, Manon, Bellezza Pericolosa / Dangerous Beauty (catalogue), Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, Naples, Italy
Leaverton, Michael, "Corporate Art Doesn't Suck," SF Weekly (Night & Day section),
March 28, p. 21
2006 Nataraj, Nirmala, "'See Jane Run' at Bedford Gallery," Artweek, July/August,
p. 15-16
Leaverton, Michael, "Nothing to See Here," SF Weekly (Night & Day section), May 3, p. 26
Peterson, Kristina, "Suspicious Minds," 7x7 Magazine, May, p. 76
Kitamura, Katie, "Los Angeles: Telic Gallery," Contemporary, Issue 78, p. 64
2005 Dockray, Sean Patrick, "Davis & Davis, The Mechanics of a Lie," thirty4,
Fall Issue 6, p. 150-1
Myers, Holly, "Amid the celestial strands: Davis & Davis' multimedia installation at TELIC has an intriguing back-story," Los Angeles Times, April 22
Bing, Alison, "Davis & Davis: Heather Marx Gallery, San Francisco, CA," artUS Magazine, Special Issue 5/6, January/February, p. 44-5 and cover
2004 Davis & Davis, "Childish Things," Santa Monica Press, Santa Monica, CA (with Introduction by Tyler Stallings)
Winn, Steven, "Childhood isn't what it used to be. In the arts, it's dark and complex." San Francisco Chronicle, November 17, p. E1
Swanhuyser, Hiya, and Slaton, Joyce, "Ooooo, I'm Telling," SF Weekly (Night & Day section), November 10, p. 22
Wright, Andy, "Top Ten: Reasons We Still Play With Toys," Curve, November,
p. 14
Davis & Davis, "Davis and Davis Talk to Themselves," Coagula Art Journal, October, Issue #70, p. 14, 36
Gleason, Mat, "Swag," Coagula Art Journal, October, Issue #70
"Kissers (1) & (2)," (reproduction), San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook, October 17, p. 63
"The Good Book: From Annuals to Manuals," Step Inside Design, September/October, Vol. 20 No. 5
"Recent Arrivals," The Toronto Globe and Mail, September 11
"Simple Things," Clear, Vol. 4 Issue 2
"Buzz Cuts," Los Angeles Magazine, September, p. 28
Cateforis, David, "Reviews, Central: Wichita, Kansas," Art Papers, March/April,
p. 53
2003 Dunbar, Elizabeth, "Not So Cute & Cuddly: Dolls & Stuffed Toys in Contemporary Art" (Exhibition Catalogue), Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS
2002 Westbrook, Lindsey, "Lil' Giants," San Francisco Bay Guardian, Critics Choice: Art, January 23, p. 66
"Oh, Baby!", San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook, January 20, p. 24
2001 Dambrot, Shana Nys, "Mad Season Diaries," Coagula Art Journal, January
Guzik, Jon Alain, "Gen-Next Art Collecting," Bold Magazine, January
Myers, Holly, "Their Dolled Up Dramas," Los Angeles Times, March 22
Dambrot, Shana Nys, "Innerspace #4 Words and Deeds: An Envelope Art Gallery," dART INTERNATIONAL, Vol. 4, No. 2
2000 "All Dolled Up," glue magazine, January/February
Baker, Kenneth, "Photographs & Pranks at Catharine Clark," San Francisco Chronicle, July 29
Berry, Colin, "Above and Beyond," CitySearch San Francisco, March
1999 Gilbert, Rick, "Davis and Davis at Cypress College," Artweek, December
"Facing Fear," San Francisco Metropolitan, October 11
Wellman, Charlotte H., "Revision," Exhibition Catalog, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
"Convulsive Beauty and Its Discontents," Online Exhibition Catalog, California State University at Long Beach, Long Beach, CA
"Projections IV & V," Online Exhibition Catalog, Side Street Projects, Los Angeles, CA
1998 Woodard, Josef, "Offbeat Realities," Los Angeles Times, November 27
Schoenkopf, Rebecca, "The Surreal Deal," OC Weekly, January 8
Frank, Peter, "Pick of the Week," LA Weekly, March 5
"Without Alarm II," Print and Online Exhibition Catalog, Los Angeles, CA
"Love: Who Told You It Was Pretty?" Boise Weekly, Oct. 8-14
"The Fragmented Body," Online Exhibition Catalog, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA
1997 Tapley, George, "Are We Touched? Identities from Outer Space at the Huntington Beach Art Center," Artweek, September
Curtis, Cathy, "A Space Oddity," Los Angeles Times, August 5
Dubin, Zan, "Contact Lenses," Los Angeles Times, July 24
"Are We Touched? Identities from Outer Space," Exhibition Catalog, Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach, CA
Print print

Press Release


MARCH 26 – APRIL 23, 2011

Opening reception for the artists: Saturday, March 26, 5:00 – 7:00 PM

For more information, contact Steve Zavattero
Phone: 415.627.9111/e-mail: info@marxzav.com
Website: www.marxzav.com

Marx & Zavattero are proud to present Planet X, the continuation of Los Angeles collaborative duo Davis & Davis’ ongoing photographic series. In a time of political upheaval and shifts of power throughout the world, Davis & Davis’ recent work seems ever more prescient. Aluminum, steel, glass, ray guns, lasers, beams of light, and extraordinary explosions are the futuristic elements that encompass the pair’s miniaturized world-turned-large-scale compositions.

Combining “a pre-Sputnik naiveté about space travel with a cold war paranoia about all things alien,” the term “Planet X” has long been an astronomer’s placeholder for planets yet to be found. In its role as the perpetually undiscovered sphere located at an ever-greater distance from the Earth, Planet X, like the eponymous series, embodies both our hopes and our fears for the future and has chilling parallels to what is happening on the Earth today.

Elements, characters, and tricks of the lens are precisely utilized, creating narratives that speak to a contemporary moment through a historical precedent – when the imagery of space and budding technologies become more interesting and tangible than the actualization of technology itself. In Planet X #16 toy spacemen dating from the late 40’s to the 60’s crowd closely around a beacon of light, staging a mutiny. In a colorful cinematic moment, arms are raised in heated uproar; the scene is packed with action and emotion, creating a space between the viewer and the image that is both eerie and sublime. Davis & Davis envision Planet X as a place to where moments and things of the past have traveled. Planet X #19 looks like a colorfield painting made up of a dense cluster of monochrome plastic airplanes, alluding to the forgotten heroes and travelers that have been lost. The fleet is flying a chaotic reconnaissance over an extraterrestrial surface bathed in moonlight. The reference to WWI and WWII war films and B-space picture reels also come to mind and add Davis & Davis’ unique and distinct wittiness to the series.

Davis & Davis have exhibited widely, most recently in Dream Big, a new documentary series from their recent travels to Japan, at L2Kontemporary in Los Angeles. Other exhibitions include Dangerous Beauty, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY and Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, Italy; Not So Cute & Cuddly: Dolls and Stuffed Toys in Contemporary Art, Ulrich Museum of Art in Wichita, KS; Oh: You Beautiful Doll, Andrea Meislin Gallery, New York, NY. They have also had solo shows at the Riverside Art Museum and TELIC, Los Angeles as well as many other public and private venues. Their work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum of Art, The Ulrich Museum of Art, the Jean Pigozzi Collection, California State University Los Angeles, California State Polytechnic University Pomona, Genentech, as well as many private collections. Their work has been reviewed in Whitehot Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Contemporary Magazine, 34 Magazine, ArtUS, Art Papers, SF Weekly, SF Bay Guardian, LA Weekly, Artweek, and many other publications. Their book Childish Things was published by Santa Monica Press in 2004. Both artists earned their MFA degrees at the California Institute of the Arts.


The Brown Suit Chronicles series
For more information, please click here!

Planet X series
The search for Planet X began in 1841 as the search for the eighth planet in our solar system and continues today as the search for the eleventh. Planet X was first renamed Neptune, then Vulcan (Urbain Le Verrier's intra-Mercurial planet), then Pluto, then Niburu (Zecharia Sitchin's "12th planet") and now Xena (the recently discovered tenth planet). Planet X is not a real planet, but rather a placeholder for planets yet to be found. In a mathematical sense, it is a variable: X = n +1, where n is the number of the last discovered planet. Planet X, in its role as the perpetually undiscovered sphere located at an ever-greater distance from the Earth, embodies both our hopes and our fears for the future.

Toy spacemen of the late 40's and early 50's combine a pre-Sputnik naiveté about space travel with a cold war paranoia about all things alien. Their art deco space suits feature bell jar helmets and back-slung, oxygen tanks; their elaborate ray guns bulge with deadly, high technology. Because they appeared before the dawn of the Space Age, they don't look like the astronauts we know today and seem to recall a future yet to come. For this series, we photograph these spacemen as they struggle with robots and other technology, with monsters and aliens, and with themselves in the barren, cratered landscape of Planet X.


Childish Things series
Those who have managed to save a favorite toy from childhood are aware that a kewpie doll, a teddy bear, or a plastic soldier can be a prodigious storehouse of fond memories.

Just as cherished toys recall the joys and warmth of a happy childhood, so lost and abandoned toys retain repressed memories of prepubescent trauma and the deep-seated guilt associated with the playing of forbidden games.

While abandoned toys are rejected outright, lost toys represent something evicted from consciousness as in a Freudian slip. Either way, the result is the same: the contents of the childish unconscious at large in the world. As found in parking lots, on sidewalks, or in thrift stores, these toys lack meaningful context and purpose - a situation we attempt to correct.

For the series, Childish Things, we stage mini-psychodramas on miniature sets with the toys portraying the conflicted children who left them behind. We then photograph the resulting tableaus with a shallow focus that suggests the bleary selectivity of memory. By these means, we hope to achieve for the conflicted, former toy-owners a measure of catharsis by proxy.

  • For inquiries, please email Heather Marx Art Advisory at H[at]HMxAA[dot]com