“Painting does something to your soul that nothing else can,” said the late Noah Davis. “It’s visceral and immediate and is always readdressed in new ways that keep it relevant.” Davis died of cancer in 2015, at only 32, leaving behind his poignant, moody paintings. He looked at vintage photographs from African-American culture, and with casual brushworks painted eerie, sometimes surreal, images: a girl in an elephant mask; two youths on a sofa, lying listlessly. Phantoms and mystic figures tell lonely, tender stories in these paintings. Davis created an Underground Museum, an artist space for art and culture in Los Angeles’s Black and Latinx neighborhood. His untimely death meant he didn’t live to see his project blossom. This show displays 20 paintings by Davis as well as models of previous exhibitions he curated. —E.C.
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