The second installment of The Aldrich Contemporary art Museum’s 50th Anniversary exhibitions program will commence with a free opening reception to celebrate David Diao: Front to Back on Sunday, July 13.
This presentation brings together a selection of paintings that span the years 1971 to 2012, demonstrating a timeline of Diao’s sustained dialogue with Modernism, as well as his relationship to the art world and the critical establishment.
David Diao: Front to Back is the latest in a series of solo exhibitions that acknowledge artists whose early careers are closely connected with the history of the Museum. Larry Aldrich, the Museum’s founder, purchased one of David Diao’s paintings in 1969 and his work was featured in exhibitions at the Museum in 1971, 1987, 1992, and 1996.
Exhibitions director Richard Klein said, “The artist’s response to this history is an exhibition that references the idea of a retrospective, but casts it in the unique light of the body of work Diao has done that focuses on his own career as well as the nature of the art world in which he finds himself embedded. The title Front to Back implies a chronological read, and the exhibition does indeed include works from the beginning of the artist’s career as well as from the recent past; but the reference goes deeper, speaking of Diao’s ongoing interpretation of Modernism and, since 1984, the extensive use of text in his paintings.”
Klein continues, “Usually, art that is based in either the social or the political is ineffectual because the finger pointing is directed out towards the morally obvious. Diao, through his recent work, has held a mirror up to himself and the community he inhabits and the results are complex, nuanced, and often uncomfortably self-conscious—just like the truth.”