David Haxton (b. 1943, Indianapolis, Indiana) is an artist who works primarily in Photography and Film. His films from the 1970’s and early 1980’s were made mostly in negative, with a static camera position, and were made in one take. In these films the space filmed is revealed gradually by a performer, while the intrinsic flatness of the illuminated screen is maintained.
In 1976 Haxton bought an 8×10 camera and started photographing the leftover sets from his films. The photographs are like the films, in that they take place in the studio. Haxton states that “The photographed set started in darkness and everything in the photograph was put there including light”. In the Art of Photography he states that, “the photographed set contains the residue of human activity, not unlike the drips in a Pollack painting”. David Haxton says that in general his photographs owe more to Man Ray than Cartier Bresson.
He has a BA degree in Art from the University of South Florida (1961-1965). He also has an MFA degree in painting from the University of Michigan (1965-67).
Haxton’s photographic works were first shown in a Solo exhibition at Sonnabend Paris, 1978. In the 1980’s the photographic works were shown at Sonnabend New York, The Whitney Biennial, and at venues in the US and Europe.
His most recent Solo exhibition was in April of 2019 at Fridman Gallery in New York. The exhibition titled -/+ included films and photographs. In February of 2018 Haxton presented an evening of films at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. In May of 2018 the Centre Pompidou opened Kanal Pompidou in Brussels. An exhibition within the museum titled “The Site of Film” included sixteen of Haxton’s films. His film “Cube and Room Drawings” was included in “America is Hard to See”, the inaugural exhibition at the new Whitney Museum in 2015. Gavlak Gallery in Los Angles mounted a solo exhibition of his films and photographs in April of 2015. In 2012 his film “Painting Room Lights” was included in an exhibition titled “Watch This! New Directions in the Art of the Moving Image” at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 1978 the Whitney presented a two-person exhibition of photographs by Jan Groover and David Haxton. In 1978 he was featured in MoMA’s Cineprobe series.
Selected collections include: Centre Pompidou, Paris, SFMOMA, San Francisco, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Albright Knox Gallery, National Gallery of Art, Canberra, Australia, MoMA, New York, Maslow Collection in Scranton, Pa., Kadist Foundation, Polaroid Collection, and the Chicago Art Institute
Programme: (order of works selected by the author)
Bringing Lights Forward (1970), 16mm, b&w, silent, 4 min.
Painting in Object (1975-6), 16mm, b&w, silent, 7 min.
Cube and Room Drawings (1976-77), 16mm, color, silent, 15 min.
Cubes (1977), 16mm, b&w, silent, 12 min.
Painting Room Lights (1981), 16mm, color, silent, 9 min.
Screening format: HD (copies courtesy of the author)
Special thanks to David Haxton