David Stern Biography

Sons of God 2


David Stern is a figurative painter, whose work is rooted in the European figurative tradition and informed by American Abstract Expressionism.

His artistic career spans 40 years and the main theme/motive of his work has been and continues to be the human condition.

His work is and has always been figurative, using the universal experience of the visual world as a point of reference. The paintings are developed in a process of action and reaction, meaning that the painting evolves without a preconceived plan and/or image of a desired result. 

The themes of David Stern's works are always connected to his own experience and observation, and although the painting process of a singular work can take a year or more of probing, the actual act of painting is fast and impulsive. 

He works almost exclusively from memory and his accumulated knowledge of the human figure. All of Stern's paintings are done with self-made mixtures of pure pigments and linseed oil. Since 2019 he has changed his practice and uses Acrylic binder as a medium for his pigments.


"I regard my paintings as innumerably different shaped vessels, which contents are according to the observing individual’s experience (including myself). The content will have to take on the shape of the vessel, eventually."

David Stern NYC 2011




2021 And Yet We Rise: 20 Years Remembrance of September 11th, Embassy of the United States of America London, UK September 1 - March 7 

2014 - 16 "The Gatherings" Diptych at September Memorial and Museum New York City

2010-12 David Stern: The American Years (1995-2008) (cont.)

national traveling exhibition curated by Karen Wilkin,

The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston, SC, August 26-October 8, 2010

2011 David Stern: Five Paintings Messineo Art Projects/Wyman Contemporary, New York Jan 27 – March 19

2009 David Stern: Cold Cuts – The American Years, Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, October 24- December 3 2009

David Stern: Selections from “One Hundred Simple Things,”Messineo Art Projects/Wyman Contemporary, New York, May 14 – July 16

2008-09 David Stern: The American Years (1995-2008), national traveling exhibition curated by Karen Wilkin, Yeshiva University Museum, New York,September 18, 2008-February 8, 2009

Alexander Hogue Gallery, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, October 30-November 28

2005-06 David Stern at the Starrett-Leihigh (project 1740), NYC presented by Claudia Carr Gallery, November 15-December 20

2004 David Stern: Braces and Shadows, Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art, NYC, April 28-June 3

2002 David Stern: The Gatherings, Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art, NYC, October 10-November 16

2001 David Stern: Common Ground, Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art, NYC, April 25-May 26

2000 David Stern: Recent Paintings, Louis Stern Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, April 27-June 3

1999 David Stern: Random Cycles, Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art, NYC, October 12-November 13

David Stern: Recent Work, William Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston, SC, September 2-25

1998 David Stern: New Paintings, Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art, NYC, April 28-May 30

1997 David Stern, Galerie Joachim Blüher, Cologne, Germany

1996 David Stern: Skypieces and Portraits, Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art, NYC, September 11-October 19

1995 David Stern: Drawings and Paintings, Synagogue for the Arts, NYC, May 10-June 11

1995 David Stern, Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany

1994 David Stern, Kunstverein, Gütersloh, Germany, November 20 – December 11

1994 Identity and Relationship: Recent Paintings by David Stern, National Jewish Museum, Washington, DC, December 15 - January

1994 David Stern: Bilder, Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany, October 14 – November 19

1993 David Stern: Malerei, Galerie X Sadie Bierl, Munich, Germany

1993 David Stern: Malerei, Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany, January 23 – March 6

1992-93 David Stern: Tanulmányok egy útról (Study for a Way), Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest, Hungary, November26, 1992 – January 7, 1993

1992 David Stern: Malerei, Kunstsammlung der Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany, March 15 – April 26

1992 David Stern: Malerei, Galerie Welz, Salzburg, Austria, September 4 – September 29

1992 David Stern: Paintings, Martin Ainscough Gallery, Liverpool, England, October 3 – November 2



2014 Painted Faces, Curated by Mark Lewis. Henry Zarrow Center for Art and Education, University of Tulsa, March 7 - April 13

2012 Positonswechsel, Curated by Kirsten Freundl. BayWa Munich, October 18 – November 10

2010 Works On Paper. Julia Nitsberg, David Stern, Sylvia Schuster, Messineo Art Projects and Wyman Contemporary, New York, May 13 - July 15

2008 National Juried Competition: Works of Art on Paper, Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences, June 21 –July 14

2006 New American Figurative Art. David Stern. Nicholas Straube, Thomas Williams Fine Arts, London, October 10- November 10

2003 Skin: Contemporary Views of the Body, Jacksonville Museum of Modern Art, Jacksonville, FL, May 2-August 3(with Magdalena Abakanowicz, Tony Oursler and others)

2002-03 CorpoRealities. Contemporary Figurative Painting, Rollins College, Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, FL,October 18-December 1 (with Eugène Leroy, Frank Auerbach and others )

2002 Portraits. David Stern and Edvins Strautmanis. Drawings and Monoprints, Spokane Falls Community College Art Gallery, Spokane, WA, February 11-March 15

1998 7th Biennal National Drawing Invitational, The Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AK, May 7-June 21

1998 Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany

1997 About Face, Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art, NYC One of a Kind, Rosenberg + Kaufman Fine Art, NYC

1996 Galerie Joachim Blüher, Cologne, Germany Galerie Brennecke, Berlin, Germany

1993 Fritz Ascher – David Stern. Two Abstract-Figurative Painters, International Monetary Fund Art Forum, Washington, DCMarch 30 – May 21

1993 Galerie Seippel, Cologne, Germany

1989 Der Name der Freiheit. Ein Kölner Symposion zur 200-Jahr-Feier der Französischen Revolution in der KölnerPhilharmonie am 29. April 1989, Cologne, Germany