press release

the opening preview of New Work by David Diao on Saturday 8 February, from 4pm till 7pm
Exhibition dates: 8 February – 11 April 2020

Office Baroque is pleased to announce the third individual exhibition by David Diao at our gallery on Bloemenhofplein in Brussels.

For his exhibition New Work, Diao has made a new series of nine paintings. With these abstract works, Diao seems to be putting form first. Shying away from recognisable architectural and autobiographical references that have served as the primary content for earlier series, these new works display a systematic approach to paint as well as to painting. In New Work, paint itself as a ground has become the central motive.

This body of work follows an altogether new logic for Diao. Seven rectangular horizontal paintings recall the composition of a tricolor flag. Each painting has three identical vertical banners painted in vibrant colours as a minimal, subjective statement of presentness. Two vertical paintings will provide an index of how the other seven paintings were made: swatches of the colours used for the tricolor works are organised in a grid reminding us of the simple fact that the other paintings are subjective, singular combinations of colour and form.

David Diao (1943, China) is one of the key figures in the recent history of conceptual painting. Entering the New York art world in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, Diao first engaged, in his early work, in the complex position of painting in the aftermath of the Abstract Expressionists and the formalist critical debates that followed them, successfully pushing painting into conceptual territory while allowing him to deal with aesthetics, history as well as personal narrative in his painting. Diao’s unique aesthetic sensibility — manifest in his palette and surfaces as well as his historical and biographical interests — has undergirded a long career that is now attracting renewed interest from major institutions, critics, and curators around the world.

Diao recently had a retrospective at the UCCA Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing and has had exhibitions at ShangART, Beijing; Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield; Marta Cervera, Madrid; Paula Cooper, New York; Office Baroque, Brussels; Tanya Leighton, Berlin and Postmasters, New York. His work is included in the public collection of Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; SF MOMA, San Francisco; Fonds National d’art contemporain, Paris; Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taipei; M+ Collection, Hong Kong; Ontario Art Gallery, Toronto , among many others.