Kate Davis: Outsider (3 stars)

Kate Davis: Outsider

Sorcha Dallas Gallery, Glasgow, until Sat 27 Sep


As a reaction against her own previous work in this space – 2004’s Participant, which invited the audience to place themselves within the art – Kate Davis’ latest is a complete volte face. Outsider’s intention is to isolate the work, to make it stand apart from its audience.

‘I want everything I make to reflect my whole life,’ runs the quote from artist Yvonne Rainer which Davis has reproduced, reversed and rearranged over four separate pencil drawings. Behind the text, the body of these pictures show appropriated pencil recreations of Franz Gertsch’s photographs, each of which has been merged with an image seen from Davis’ point of view. A torn photograph lies on gravel between her foot and a car tyre, for example, while another seems to be resting on the artist’s lap as she sits in a lavatorial position, jeans around her ankles.

These are personal but slightly stagey pieces, and the dialogue with Gertsch’s work does require a familiarity with the Swiss artist’s aim of emotionless hyperrealism. The quote used also relates directly to two other pieces of self-portraiture – a segment of staging stood on end in each gallery and boxed in with glass, each partly stuffed with the artist’s clothes, bedding and books. Yet investigating the enclosed titles closely throws up names such as Waugh, Lawrence and Kafka, each a staple of high school reading lists and a subtle suggestion that these well-thumbed old works reflect the part of Davis’ life she is happiest to reveal, while keeping us outside of her current space.

Kate Davis: Outsider

  • 3 stars

Exhibition mainly composed of Davis' reinterpretations of the hugely detailed work of artist Franz Gertsch.

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