Gallery Talk: Jackson Davidow

December 7, 2023
Event Types
Exhibition Tour
Public Program
Detail of hand-scratched names and initials on four planks of salvaged sauna cedar wood. A panel of glass is visible on the left side edge of the sculpture.

Carlos Reyes, West Side Club, 2018 (detail). Salvaged sauna cedar from West Side Club, glass, birch, hardware, four components, each: 95 1/2 x 21 x 6 in. (242.6 x 53.3 x 15.2 cm). Courtesy the artist and Derosia, New York

For more information, contact:

eagarner [at] (Emily Garner)

In this Gallery Talk, Jackson Davidow will focus his discussion on two of Carlos Reyes’s sculptural works that materially derive from gay bathhouses.

While West Side Club (2018) is a hanging installation of salvaged sauna planks of cedar from the now-defunct New York bathhouse of the same name, 7269 (I)is a glass cylindrical form around a metal drain repurposed from the Melrose Spa in Los Angeles. Offering an abbreviated genealogy of artistic and architectural engagements with the gay bathhouse as a site of cruising and community, Davidow will position these works within historical and theoretical debates on queer space and public sex. He will also ruminate on their evocative, erotic, and minimalist materialities—wood, glass, metal—through evidentiary and existential questions of the trace. Finally, he will speculate on the political significance of Reyes’s project. Do these works nostalgically function as white-cube memorials to bygone of sexual cultures? Or do they call for new pursuits of pleasure and connection?

Speaker Bio 

Jackson Davidow is an art historian, curator, and critic. His criticism has appeared in Art in AmericaArtforumThe BafflerThe Boston Globe MagazineBoston Reviewfrieze, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. With Noam Parness, he is co-curator of Christian Walker: The Profane and the Poignant, which originates at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art in September 2023 before traveling to the Tufts University Art Galleries (TUAG) at the SMFA in Boston in January 2024. He has a second exhibition, As the World Burns: Queer Photography and Nightlife in Boston, which accompanies the Walker survey during its presentation at TUAG.