Tanya Leighton is proud to present Altered Future, a selection of new paintings, drawings and sculptures by artists from the gallery’s programme. Our present reality has taken a counterfactual turn. We are made unavoidably aware that the course of world events can be unexpectedly diverted, and that even apparently singular events are differently experienced by communities and consciousnesses. In Altered Future, intergenerational artistic voices reflect upon fragility, daring to imagine new landscapes of labour, desire, identity and community. The artworks are contextualised and elaborated through short videos and commissioned texts by art historians and critics including Shiva Balaghi, Sonja-Maria Borstner and Sabrina Tarasoff.
David Diao's work has most frequently been positioned as part of an important group of post-Minimal painters centred in downtown New York beginning in the late 1960s. At that time, Diao, along with other pioneering artists, explored new approaches and strategies to an otherwise traditional medium and moved painting off the wall and into space, both physically and conceptually.
Since then, Diao has been interested in examining various aspects of Modernism through visual means, most notably its dogmatic construction and fervent perpetuation of its seemingly mythological status. Diao articulates an ongoing critique of these characteristics that has endured over the course of his forty-plus year career.
–Marshall N. Price Curator, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
David Diao (born in 1943 in Chengdu, China) lives and works in New York. He studied at Kenyon College in Ohio and taught at The Cooper Union in New York. Since his first solo exhibition at Paula Cooper gallery in 1969, his acclaimed paintings studying Modernism have been widely exhibited.
Diao was the subject of a mid-career retrospective at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing in 2015. Recent solo exhibitions include ‘New Work’ at Office Baroque, Antwerp in 2020; ‘Studios and Sales’ at Postmasters, New York in 2019; ‘Kin’ at Tanya Leighton, Berlin, and ‘Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors’ at ShanghART, Beijing, both in 2018. Diao was awarded the Grants to Artists Award for Visual Arts by the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York in 2015; the National Academy Award for Excellence in 2012; and the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts, US & Canada in 1973. His work is held in esteemed public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
A two-volume monograph on his career has been recently compiled by Stéphane Mroczkowski and Alexandra Pignol, published in 2020 and 2021 by mare & martin.