New York

David Diao


David Diao’s extended bout with abstraction constitutes one of the longer, stranger sagas in the annals of recent painting. In the 25 years since Diao arrived on the scene, his career has registered most of the decisive pressures that have shaped the medium in the crisis following American painting’s midcentury triumph. Diao followed an inaugural decade of reductive experiments that reflected the dominant Minimalist temper of the late ’60s with an extended hiatus. During this time he internalized all the proclamations that stated painting had run its historical course. Effectively sitting out the much-hyped neo-Expressionist return to painting, Diao bounced back in the mid ’80s with a full-throttle return to the exhibition circuit, which seemed less a last-ditch effort to pump up the bankrupt trappings of high-Modern painting than a full-fledged reinvention of his practice. By taking one

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