David Diao

Born 1943
Hometown Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Lives and Works New York, New York
The Cooper Union, New York, New York, 1965
BA, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, 1964

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York

Brooklyn Museum, New York

Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

San Francisco MOMA, California

FNAC, Paris, France

Ontario Art Gallery, Canada

Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada

Blanton Museum, University of Texas, Austin, Texas

MOMA, Saint Etienne, France

FRAC, Burgundy and Brittany, France

Office Baroque, Brussels, Belgium

Postmasters Gallery, New York, New York

Tanya Leighton, Berlin, Germany

Galería Marta Cervera, Madrid, Spain

David Diao reflects upon his own career with disarming honesty, using the art market, art history, and architectural history as a catalyst for his observations. He moved to New York City at the age of twelve and began challenging the formal debates around Abstract Expressionism in the 1960s and early 1970s with his paintings and collage works. He targeted modernism in the 1980s, manipulating process-based abstraction to address the identity politics, institutional critique, and overarching masculinity of the movement. He regularly channels artists like Jackson Pollock or Barnett Newman, counteracting their utopian ideals with his own rebellious nature. When his focus shifted to identity in the 2000s, led by a dialogue between architecture and memory, his work became notably more self-effacing—he once tracked a painting of his as it sold and resold at auction with somewhat disappointing results. Although catalogues, archival photographs, and ephemera are often his reference point, his self-referential narrative has expanded the visual strategies used by his peers.

Diao has exhibited at institutions including Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Asian American Arts Centre, New York, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Muhka, Antwerp, Magasin-CNAC, Grenoble, France, Cleveland Institute of Art, Ohio, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, Museum of Modern Art, New York, and The Swiss Institute, New York, among many others. She participated in the 2014 Whitney Biennial and the 2nd Guangzhou Triennial in 2005.

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