Lisa Corinne Davis at June Kelly
By JOHANNA RUTH EPSTEIN
IThese richly layered works, all from 2006-7, explore categorization and, in the end, defy it. Davis’s self-portraits from the 1980s and 90s confound distinctions between self and other; her crowd scenes from around 2000 blur the line between individual and group identity. The eight images here use the visual language of maps to zoom out to a fictitious stratosphere where identity politics nonetheless plays a central role.
In these works, flat forms resembling landmasses drift against backgrounds of blue, white, and green squares. Skeins of latitude and longitude lines curl along the surfaces. Hovering above this inventive geography are the most powerfully suggestive features: cartoonish, exoskeletal forms, which—depending on their size, shape, and color—evoke plant tendrils and insect larvae, or free-falling Day-Glo pellets that look like Nerds, the candy popular in the 1980s.