Los Angeles

View of “Karon Davis,” 2016. From left: Morphine, 2016; Nicotine, 2016.

Karon Davis

Wilding Cran Gallery

View of “Karon Davis,” 2016. From left: Morphine, 2016; Nicotine, 2016.

Catharsis, according to the American Psychological Association, is “the discharge of previously repressed affects connected to traumatic events that occurs when these events are brought back into consciousness and reexperienced.” Karon Davis’s solo exhibition “Pain Management”could easily be described as cathartic, availing itself of the transformative powers of painful memories recalled. Davis’s two large-scale installations revealed the emotional depths of their maker. As the exhibition’s press release explained, they were based on a “hospital-bound” reality of illness, which Davis and her late husband—the artist Noah Davis, with whom she founded Los Angeles’s celebrated Underground Museum in 2012—experienced for many years during his treatment for cancer. Through Davis’s recounting, this reality was both fleshed out and theatricalized, the artist’s elegy giving way

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