2015 was a busy and productive year. I produced a film installation called adrift for Or Gallery in Vancouver. Another new film installation titled Interval was produced originally for LAXART in Los Angeles and then expanded for a solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. The work has since been acquired by The Museum of Modern Art. Additionally I contributed new work to the MoMA exhibition Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015.... I am grateful to the Foundation for Contemporary Art. Without your support and recognition, I wouldn't have had the focus or resources to make this transitional year nearly as rewarding as it's turned out to be.
- David Hartt, December 27, 2015
I have a research-based practice wherein I create digital films, installations, photographs, and sculptures that unpack the social, cultural, and economic complexities of my subjects. The work explores how historic ideas and ideals persist or transform over time. The current work is also becoming increasingly speculative and suggests hybrid models for consideration. Ultimately, I consider my practice as an opportunity to dimensionalize my experience of the world and my place in it.
- December 2014
David Hartt is a visual artist who creates work that unpacks the social, cultural, and economic complexities of his various subjects. He explores how historic ideas and ideals persist or transform over time.
With the support of his 2015 Grants to Artists award, Hartt produced two new film installations: adrift, for Or Gallery in Vancouver, and Interval, for LAXART in Los Angeles. Interval was expanded for a solo exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago and has since been acquired by The Museum of Modern Art. Additionally, he contributed new work to Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015 at The Museum of Modern Art.
Prior to his 2015 FCA grant, his exhibition Stray Light (2014) originated with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and traveled to the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. The exhibition presented a series of photographs, videos, and sculptures taken at and inspired by the Chicago headquarters of the Johnson Publishing Company, home to Ebony and Jet Magazines. The building, sold in 2010, remained virtually unchanged since its 1971 design, giving Hartt's works a sense of intimacy and detachment. Stray Light explores the ideological potential of the site as an icon of African-American culture and how it is actually self-defined.
Hartt has had solo exhibitions at LA><ART, David Nolan Gallery in New York, and Corbett vs. Dempsey in Chicago. In 2014, he participated in the Aimia Photography Prize exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Canadian Biennial at the National Gallery of Canada. His work is in public collections including The Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum, Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
Previous to receiving his FCA support, Hartt received The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2011), an Artadia Award (2012), a United States Artists Cruz Fellowship (2012), and an Art Matters Grant (2014).
Hartt received his M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1994 and a B.F.A. from the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa in 1991. He has taught at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2011-2014) and the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College (2014-2015). He is an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design in the Department of Fine Arts.