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‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum Ocula Report ‘An Opera for Animals’ at Rockbund Art Museum 19 Jul 2019 : Penny Liu for Ocula

An Opera for Animals was first staged at Para Site in Hong Kong between 23 March and 2 June 2019, with works by over 48 artists and collectives that use opera as a metaphor for modes of contemporary, cross-disciplinary art-making. The exhibition's second iteration takes up a large portion of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai (22 June–25...

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Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity Ocula Conversation Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity

Moving across installation, painting, drawing, and writing, Malaysia-born and London-based artist Mandy El-Sayegh explores the political, social, and economic complexities of humanity, using a mosaic of information—from advertising slogans and pornographic imagery to newspaper articles—that she subjects to processes of layering,...

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Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House Ocula Report Get Up, Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House 5 Jul 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Get Up Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House in London (12 June–15 September 2019) surveys more than half a century of black creativity in Britain and beyond across the fields of art, film, photography, music, design, fashion, and literature.Curated by Zak Ové, works by approximately 100 intergenerational black...

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David Diao

b. 1943, China

The painter David Diao was born in 1943 in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. After the Chinese Civil War he lived in Hong Kong from 1949 to 1955, and then settled permanently in the United States. He has lived and worked in New York City since 1964.

By the late 1960s Diao had established himself in the tradition of large-scale late modernist abstraction—he was included in the first Whitney Biennial in 1973—but his career hinges around the period in the late 1970s and early 1980s when, having actually stopped painting entirely, and spending a year in Paris, his painting made a fundamental conceptual shift. Rather than continuing to make abstract paintings, in 1984 Diao began to produce work that took the history of abstraction as its subject matter. He paid particular attention to the life and work of Barnett Newman and to Russian constructivist artists among others. Marked by sharp intelligence, humor, and a degree of cynicism, and often combining the look of hard-edge abstraction with the appearances of diagrams, plans, and charts, this established the intellectual and stylistic basis for the whole of his subsequent career. He increasingly combined flat areas of paint with screen printed text and images. Eventually, as his career lengthened and acquired its own history, increasing autobiographical elements entered his work. At first these related to the factual details of his painting career, but eventually they focused increasingly on Diao’s childhood in Chengdu and Hong Kong.

In 1985 Diao began showing at New York’s newly founded Postmasters Gallery. He has since had a dozen solo shows there. In the autumn of 2015 the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing staged a retrospective of 115 works, his largest ever exhibition. He continues to live and work in the same building he has occupied since 1974.

Robert Ayers | Ocula | 2017
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Featured Artworks

View All (32)
Looking back at De Stijl by David Diao contemporary artwork
David DiaoLooking back at De Stijl, 2010 Acrylic on canvas
173 x 223.5 cm
Office Baroque
Colonial Games 3 by David Diao contemporary artwork
David DiaoColonial Games 3, 2010 Acrylic on canvas
52 x 24 inches
Office Baroque
For Scale Sake by David Diao contemporary artwork
David DiaoFor Scale Sake, 2010 Acrylic and silkscreen on canvas
213 x 274.5 cm
Not For Sale
Office Baroque
Colonial Games 2 by David Diao contemporary artwork
David DiaoColonial Games 2, 2010 Acrylic on canvas
52 x 24 cm
Office Baroque
Little Suprematist Prison #30 by David Diao contemporary artwork
David DiaoLittle Suprematist Prison #30, 1986 Acrylic on canvas
24 x 18 inches
Office Baroque
Green Chalkboard (Melnikov) by David Diao contemporary artwork
David DiaoGreen Chalkboard (Melnikov), 2012 Acrylic on canvas
208.3 x 228.6 cm
Office Baroque
Untitled by David Diao contemporary artwork
David DiaoUntitled, 1975 Acrylic on canvas
116.8 x 127 cm
Office Baroque

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, David Diao, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors at ShanghART, Beijing
Closed
24 May–24 July 2018 David Diao Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors ShanghART, Beijing
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Prelude / Subversion at Gallery Baton, Seoul
Closed
18 October–19 November 2016 Group Exhibition Prelude / Subversion Gallery Baton, Seoul

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Artist Insight: David Diao Ocula Insight Artist Insight: David Diao By Robert Ayers

In a career spanning more than half a century David Diao has conducted a many-faceted exploration of the assumptions and comprehension of contemporary painting, which has been underpinned by vast erudition, a sharp critical intelligence, and a sustained sense of humour. Not surprisingly he enjoys a reputation as an insightful and stimulating...

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Be among the first to know when new artworks and exhibitions by David Diao are added to Ocula.

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