Juan Davila is one of the most innovative and influential painters
to have worked in Australia over the past thirty years. Arriving
in Australia from Chile in 1974, his consistent interrogation of
cultural, sexual and social identities has resulted in a rich, complex
and provocative body of work.
A firm believer
in the political role of the artist, Davila’s paintings have
critiqued directly the Australian political system, the cultural
aspects of late capitalism, the structures of the art world and
the hegemony of Western art history, the representation of sexuality,
and more recently, the treatment of refugees in Australian detention
Juan Davila has shown widely throughout Australia and internationally.
This is the first major solo museum exhibition to feature work from
the full span of Davila’s career. It will feature paintings,
installations and works on paper, including Chilean works rarely
seen in Australia, the artist's epic murals of the 1980s and 1990s,
and new work produced for the MCA exhibition.
The exhibition is accompanied by a major publication, co-published
by the MCA and Melbourne University Publishing, featuring commissioned
essays by Professor Roger Benjamin and Guy Brett as well as selected
texts by the artist.