Alexander Kennedy, 'Kate Davis' (The List, 16/12/2004)
This is by far the most successful show that has taken place in Dallas’ Gallery since its inception. It also happens to be one of the most impressive shows in Glasgow this millennium. Davis treats the space like the white, clinical cube it is, with the best drawing and objects placed in the best possible positions.
Her Picassoid still lives are melded into uncomfortable yet seductive mutations; pristine Platonic forms are perverted, becoming Sartre-esque objects. In ‘Could You Please?’ Wine becomes blood, coagulating in the prolapsed belly of a snide bottle. These things-in-themselves adopt frustrated poses; they seem to be sick of their own state of being; they shake their puny spoon-shaped fists at the viewer and their creator – fuming little bastardised fuck-ups. Davis’ paintings and drawings destroy their aesthetically weaker predecessors, the quasi-surrealist automata that have limped out of the flaccid pens of lesser Scottish-based artists over the last few years (I blame David Shrigley).
If sculpture ‘is the thing you bang into when you are trying to look at a painting’, then this little stumble shakes you down to your melting foundations and reminds you of the reality and solidity of Davis’ talent and aesthetic power. In this gallery space as (operating) theatre, the viewer becomes aware of her/his body as a sweating, pulsating bag of faeces and guts, banging into other objects and falling slowly into nothingness on Davis’ empty stage.