Fantasy is an important part of my studio practice; it lends itself easily to abstraction and provides me with a basis for addressing the complex conversations of our time. Themes of reconstructing landscapes, building monuments, and references to structures and dwellings are central in my work. These things are negotiated within the intersection of fine art and craft as a way to democratize and navigate social and political ideas and histories. This world is difficult to explain through realism.
Born in Fort Stockton, Texas, David Willburn lives and works in Fort Worth, Texas. Since earning his MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, his work has been shown nationally and internationally at venues including Dallas Contemporary (Dallas, Texas), San Diego Art Institute (San Diego, CA), University of Art and Design (Helsinki, Finland) Museum of Arts and Design (New York, NY), Union Gallery at University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee, WI), Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, Oregon), and Galleri Urbane (Dallas, Texas), and Carneal Simmons Contemporary Art (Dallas, Texas).
Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA Visual Art
Select Solo Exhibitions
2020 - Eight Parts. Platform Gallery, Seattle, Washington, www.platformgallery.com
2019 - Rainbow Riot at the Snowflake Ball, Carneal Simmons Contemporary
Art, Dallas, TX
2018 - The World is the Teapot and the Cup. Platform Gallery, Seattle,
2017 - Queer the Materials! Fortify the Domestic! Stone the Hegemony!, Galleri
Urbane, Dallas, Texas
2016 - Skadüchi: Dispatches from Make-Believe, Boehm Gallery, Palomar
College, San Marcos, CA
2015 - Curve of Forgetting, Galleri Urbane, Dallas, TX, October
Taking Things Apart, Ground Floor Gallery, Nashville, TN
2011 - The Overuse of Everything, Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, Texas
Select Group Exhibitions
2020 - From Chaos to Order: Making Our Way in the New World of Covid-19, The Delaware Contemporary, Wilmington, Delaware
2018 - Rocket Summer, Neon Heater, curator: Ian Breidenbach, Findlay, OH
2017 - Diverge/Convene: Contemporary Mixed Media, curators: Ginger Shulick
Porcella, Kate McNamara, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego,
2016 - Texas Draws: A Survey of Contemporary Drawing, curator: Mary Mikel
Stump, The Southwest School of Art, San Antonio, TX
Drawing Quote Unquote, curator: Lorraine Tady, Edith O'Donnell Visual
Arts Gallery, University of Texas Dallas, Dallas, TX
2015 - Women's Work: Masculinity and Gender in Contemporary Fiber Arts,
curator: Ginger Shulick Porcella, San Diego Art Institute, San Diego, CA 53rd
Annual International Show, juror: David A. Ross, San Diego Art Institute,
San Diego, CA
2014 - The Artist's Alphabet, juror: Jodi Hays, Ground Floor Gallery, Nashville,
Art in the Metroplex, juror: Sara-Jayne Parsons, Fort Worth Community
Arts Center, Fort Worth, Texas
2013 - Object! Object! Helmuth Projects, San Diego, California 2012 - Town and Country, Brand10 Art Space, Fort Worth, TX
Big and Bright: New Work from Texas, curator: Jessica McCambly, Southwestern College, Chula Vista, CA
2011 - Laid Bare, curator: Lara Bullock, The Loft Gallery, San Pedro, CA 2009 - Thread Baring, curator: Andrea Avery, Union Gallery, University of
Wisconsin Milwaukee, Milwaukee
No. 3: What you do after No. 2, curator: Ryder Richards, RJP Nomadic Gallery, Marfa, Texas
2008 - Your Favorite Artist Was a Member Here: 30 Years at 500X Gallery, 500X Gallery, Dallas
2007 - Pricked: Extreme Embroidery, curator: David McFadden, Museum of Arts and Design, New York
2006 - New Embroidery, curators: Annin Barrett, Manya Shapiro, Namita Gupta Wiggers, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, Oregon
2005 - Somebody: Simeen Farhat and David Willburn, 500X Gallery, Dallas West Meets West, University of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland
Small Works Invitational, SoHo20 Gallery, New York
Missives - Visual Takes on Presumptive Thought, Broadway Gallery, New York City
New Texas Talent XII, curator: Nancy Cohen Israel, Craighead-Green Gallery, Dallas
Zemtsova, Maria, editor. “Editorial Selection of Works.” Art Maze Magazine, no. 5, 2017, pp. 126–127.
Link: Terranova, Charissa M., PhD. "The Object-Oriented Ontology of David Willburn's Embroidered Paintings." Peripheral Vision Arts. 27 Sept. 2016.
Popova, Ekaterina, Ed., and Maria Zemtsova, Ed. Fresh Paint Magazine 13 June 2016. Print.
Bullock, Lara, and Lauren Lockhart. Object Object!: A Selection of Smaller Works. San Diego: Good Good Things, 2013. Print.
Joseph-Lowery, Frédérique. "Embroidery Goes Contemporary." Art Press 352 Jan. 2009. Print.
Gupta, Anjali, Ed. "Visual Space: 500X Gallery." Editorial. Art Lies 56 Winter 2008/09. Print.
McFadden, David R,. Pricked: Extreme Embroidery. New York City: Museum of Arts and Design, 2007. Print.
Barrett, Annin, and Namita Gupta-Wiggers. New Embroidery: Not Your Grandma's Doily. Portland: Museum of Contemporary Craft, 2006. Print.
Juror's Selection: Best in Show: The Artist's Alphabet, Ground Floor Gallery, Nashville, TN
Beth Lea Clardy Award, Art in the Metroplex, Fort Worth, TX
Visual Art Faculty, School of Arts, Entertainment, and Design, Dallas College: Eastfield Campus, 2005 - Present
Eastfield College, Mesquite, Texas
Fidelity Investments, Boston, Massachusetts
University of Texas at Dallas (Arts and Technology), Richardson, Texas