David Diao was born in 1943 in Chengdu, Sichuan, China. He moved to Hong Kong with his grandparents when he was six and joined his father in New York six years later. Diao first attracted attention with his show at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York in 1969. Two-person shows followed the same year at Leo Castelli Gallery in New York (with Peter Young) and at Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto (with Brice Marden), and three years later with Cy Twombly, at Hampshire College, Massachusetts.
His work was included in Konrad Fischer's show Prospect '73 at Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf. He presented work in High Times Hard Times, New York Painting 1967-1975 at ZKM, Karlsruhe, earlier this year. Major shows have been mounted in Paris, Dijon, Rennes, Toronto, Vancouver, Warsaw, Rotterdam, Taipei, Hongkong, and Beijing.
His work is featured in the collections of MoMA, NY, Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, Brooklyn Museum, NY, High Museum, Atlanta, GA, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, Akron Museum, Akron, OH, SFMOMA, San Francisco, Blanton Museum, University of Texas, Austin, MOMA, St. Etienne, France, FRAC Brittany and Burgundy, Ontario Art Gallery, Toronto, and Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada, among others. Diao has shown regularly with Postmasters since the opening of the gallery in 1985. He lives in New York.