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David Byrd

1926–2013, b. Springfield, IL; lived and worked Sidney Center, NY

Available Works

David Byrd (b. 1926, Springfield, IL; d. 2013, Oxford, NY) worked in obscurity, mainly in upstate New York, and was active from the late 1940s until his death in 2013. His output was substantial and life-long, but his first exhibition was not until the last year of his life. Byrd was a keen observer of the human condition and his rural environment; his melancholy take on humanity focused chiefly on the denizens of Sidney Center, NY, where he lived during the last two decades of his life. His subjects include auctioneers and attendees at country auctions, shoppers at food markets, and patrons at laundromats and gas stations, all realized with thinned oil paint utilizing a dry-brush technique. Many of the paintings blend the real and the fantastical in unsettling ways that transcend the everyday sensibility that the works initially suggest.


Byrd had two solo exhibitions during his lifetime, which were facilitated through his late friendship with an artist and neighbor, Jody Isaacson. In 2012 he had his first show at Maywood Arts, Sidney Center, NY, followed by a show in 2013 at Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WA. Byrd passed away in 2013 at the age of 87. In the summer and fall of 2017, the David Byrd Estate organized Ten Stops, a series of largely solo exhibitions of Byrd’s work in upstate New York, Brooklyn, and Seattle. Other solo exhibitions have been presented at Catherine G. Murphy Gallery, St Catherine University, St. Paul, MI (2015); Edgewood College Gallery, Madison, WI (2015); and Martin Mullen Gallery, SUNY-Oneonta, NY (2013). Byrd has shown in group exhibitions at Karma, Amagansett, NY (2016) and Zieher, Smith and Horton, New York, NY (2015).

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From Contemporary Surrealism to Queer Photography, 6 Highlights of the Independent [Garage]

Mar 09, 2019

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David Byrd [The Brooklyn Rail]

Nicholas Heskes on David Byrd at White Columns, New York

Mar 07, 2019


November 10: Closing Conversation

Join us at Fleisher/Ollman on the closing day of David Byrd: Patient Pondering for a conversation about the artist's life and work with the David Byrd Estate's Jody Isaacson. 


Saturday, November 10


Nov 10, 2018

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A Psych Ward-Inspired Trove of Outsider Art Finally Sees the Light [Hyperallergic]

Lev Feigin on David Byrd in Hyperallergic

Nov 01, 2018

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In Philly galleries now: Anissa Mack, David Byrd, and Yusef Abdul Jaleel [The Philadelphia Inquirer]

Edith Newhall on David Byrd: Patient Pondering

Sep 29, 2018

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