David Haxton

American, born 1943

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David Haxton

American, born 1943

Biography

Since the early 1970s, David Haxton has been stripping photographs and films to their essence, revealing the underpinnings—light, space, and surface—that make such resolutely two-dimensional mediums appear to contain three-dimensions. He approaches his work from a painter’s perspective, focused on process, materials, and perception. About his films he states: “I became interested in examining the nature of the medium including light, movement, and the formation of a three-dimensional illusion on a flat surface.” By fixing his camera in place to create a canvas-like background against which his performers use actions and movements to describe space, Haxton eschews narrative, creating, in his words, “stories […] about the medium of film.” His photographs, of cut paper illuminated by light and casting shadows, sometimes combined with neon tubing, are similarly self-reflexive, as he explains: “The photographs are made for the camera.”

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
Biography

Since the early 1970s, David Haxton has been stripping photographs and films to their essence, revealing the underpinnings—light, space, and surface—that make such resolutely two-dimensional mediums appear to contain three-dimensions. He approaches his work from a painter’s perspective, focused on process, materials, and perception. About his films he states: “I became interested in examining the nature of the medium including light, movement, and the formation of a three-dimensional illusion on a flat surface.” By fixing his camera in place to create a canvas-like background against which his performers use actions and movements to describe space, Haxton eschews narrative, creating, in his words, “stories […] about the medium of film.” His photographs, of cut paper illuminated by light and casting shadows, sometimes combined with neon tubing, are similarly self-reflexive, as he explains: “The photographs are made for the camera.”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields
fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial