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David Hilliard, April 5, 2022

    A hybrid presentation:
    7-9pm Online and In-Person at the
    Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline, MA

    David Hilliard, Nowhere and Here, 2018

    David Hilliard‘s large-scale, multi-paneled, color photographs present complex narratives exploring a range of themes and situations, from quiet moments of contemplation to scenes of heightened drama. Documenting his life and the lives of those around him, each work comprises a number of images that employ slightly different focal points, offering multiple perspectives of a single scene. Hilliard takes the personal and familiar and manipulates them to provide a commentary on larger issues such as masculinity, coming of age, sexuality, and spirituality; striking a balance between autobiography and fiction.

    Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, Hilliard lives and works in Boston. He received his BFA from Massachusetts College of Art in 1992, and his MFA from Yale University in 1994. His work has been exhibited in numerous institutions including Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Kemper Art Museum, St Louis; Miami Art Museum; Addison Museum of American Art, Andover; Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Tampa; and DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA. Hilliard’s work is represented in many public collections including Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Philadelphia Museum of Art. Hilliard was the recipient of a Fulbright Grant and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, and he was awarded the Bok Center Award for Excellence in Teaching by Harvard University in 2012. David Hilliard has been a visiting lecturer at numerous schools, including Harvard University; Dartmouth College; Art Institute of Boston; and the Massachusetts College of Art & Design. 

    “For years I have been actively documenting my life and the lives of those around me, recording events and attempting to create order in a sometimes chaotic world. While my photographs focus on the personal, the familiar and the simply ordinary, the work strikes a balance between autobiography and fiction. Within the photographs physical distance is often manipulated to represent emotional distance. The casual glances people share can take on a deeper significance, and what initially appears subjective and intimate is quite often a commentary on the larger contours of life.

    For me, the construction of panoramic photographs, comprised of various single images, acts as a visual language. Focal planes shift, panel by panel. This sequencing of photographs and shifting of focal planes allows me the luxury of guiding the viewer across the photograph, directing their eye; an effect which could not be achieved through a single image.

    I continually aspire to represent the spaces we inhabit, relationships we create, and the objects with which we surround ourselves. I hope the messages the photographs deliver speak to the personal as well as the universal experience. I find the enduring power and the sheer ability of a photograph to express a thought, a moment, or an idea, to be the most powerful expression of myself, both as an artist, and as an individual.”