David Hartt, 2018 Pew Fellow. Photo by Braxton Black, courtesy of the artist.
David Hartt, Carolina I, 2017, archival pigment print mounted to Dibond and framed. Photo courtesy of the artist, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago and David Nolan Gallery, New York.
David Hartt, Interval, 2015, two-channel video, nine murals, three archival pigment prints, and aluminum curtain wall, dimensions variable. Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. Photo courtesy of the artist.
“I want to make work that addresses power and pride and grief and desire and confusion and community and celebration and abandonment and a wandering itinerant solitude. I want to hold all of these things together.”
David Hartt’s multidisciplinary work in photography, sculpture, installation, and digital film considers the history of social and cultural ideals in relation to the built environment. “Place and sometimes architecture function as a proxy for the human condition,” Hartt notes. “I’m interested in the specificity of a place. What narratives and belief systems does it reveal?” Subjects of his work have included a forgotten Puerto Rican housing project (in the forest, 2017), and the post-war black American experience as reflected in the headquarters of the Johnson Publishing Company in downtown Chicago (Stray Light, 2013). His work is held in the collections of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Studio Museum in Harlem; Art Institute of Chicago; and the National Gallery of Canada, among others. Hartt is the recipient of a 2012 United States Artists Cruz Fellowship and a 2011 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. He is assistant professor in the department of fine arts at the University of Pennsylvania, and holds a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2018 with Center support, Hartt will create a site-responsive, multimedia installation to activate Beth Sholom Synagogue, a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed National Historic Landmark.