Jessica Silverman and Casey Kaplan announce joint representation of artist David Huffman
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Jessica Silverman and Casey Kaplan announce joint representation of artist David Huffman
David Huffman in his studio. Courtesy of the artist, Jessica Silverman, San Francisco, and Casey Kaplan, New York. Photo credit: Francis Baker.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Jessica Silverman in San Francisco and Casey Kaplan in New York have announced the joint representation of Oakland-based artist David Huffman. Huffman’s work has long been acclaimed for his exploration of identity, memory, and the material implications associated with the Black diasporic experience. Jessica Silverman recently held the solo exhibition David Huffman: Odyssey in January 2023 and Casey Kaplan will hold the artist’s first solo show with the gallery in May 2024.

“David Huffman has long been ahead of his time, merging pop art, abstract expressionism, and Afro- futurism in masterful paintings and sculptures. I have enjoyed exhibiting his work since 2018 and am delighted he is joining the gallery roster,” said Jessica Silverman.

"David’s story, with its deep Bay Area roots, is steeped in a history of activism and the Black Panther Party, and needs to be told. David will no longer be overlooked in New York, or anywhere,” said Casey Kaplan.

Born in 1963 in Berkeley and raised amongst revolutionaries, activists, and members of the Black Panther Party, Huffman is strongly influenced by both the Black radical tradition and forms of speculative and science fiction. His mother Dolores Davis was notable for designing the iconic “Free Huey [Newton]” flag that became a symbol for an era defined by social upheaval as well as Apollo moon landings, Star Trek, and Sun Ra’s forays into Afrofuturism.

Mixing, combining, and editing these references altogether, Huffman’s foundational points and materials comprise a process and practice he calls “social abstraction.” This includes his Traumanauts paintings series, made between 2002 and 2009, which use the figures of Black astronauts exploring the cosmos in search of their origins outside of the constraints of space or time. Recent works, such as Sanctuary (2023), also incorporate a broad swathe of materials, ranging from basketball imagery to outlines of hoop nets, text, African fabrics, and Traumanaut characters that, for Huffman, collectively signify the Black experience. His work probes the politics of race within larger systems of exploitation, subjugation, and joy, reconciling historical traumas with a liberatory horizon.

Recently in April 2022, Huffman was named an Artist Trustee of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). That same year he held the celebrated solo exhibition David Huffman: Terra Incognita at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.

David Huffman (b. 1963, Berkeley, CA) has work in the collections of SFMOMA, San Francisco; LACMA, Los Angeles; Berkeley Art Museum, CA; Studio Museum, Harlem; Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN; Oakland Museum of California; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; San José Museum of Art, CA; Palo Alto Art Center, CA; Eileen Norton Collection, Los Angeles; Birmingham Museum of Art, AL; Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN, Arkansas Art Center; ASU Art Museum, Tempe, AZ; Lodeveans Collection, London; and the Embassy of the United States of America, Dakar, Senegal, among others. Huffman enjoyed a recent solo exhibition at the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco and has been included in recent group exhibitions at the de Young Museum, San Francisco; Weatherspoon Museum of Art, NC; and The Write Museum, MI. He is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies including the Eureka Fellowship, ARTADIA San Francisco, Palo Alto Public Arts Commission, and the Barclay Simpson Award. He studied at the New York Studio School and received his MFA at California College of the Arts & Crafts, San Francisco. Huffman lives and works in Oakland, CA; he is currently on the board at SFMOMA.

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