David Humphrey received a BFA from Maryland Institute, College of Art in 1977 and a MA from New York University in 1980. He has shown nationally and internationally and he has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Rome Prize and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, purchase award, among others. His collections include the Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Goetz Collection, Munich, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, the Walker Art Center, the Whitney Museum of Art, and the Yale University Art Gallery, among others. Humphrey wrote a column for Art Issues from 1989-2002 and has written extensively on art for exhibition catalogs and art periodicals, including Art in America and Flash. An anthology of his writing, Blind Handshake, was released in 2009 by Periscope Publishing. Humphrey is an instructor at Columbia University in the MFA program. His work is in collections including Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA, Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, OH, Denver Art Museum, CO, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN among others. Humphrey has shown at Marcia Wood Gallery since 2014.
Humphrey’s paintings, sculptures and drawings have been known for their "surreal sexiness, postmodern snap, and painterly discrimination". Figuration and landscape are combined with abstract forms, and diverse painting practices co-exist to hatch implied but ultimately incomprehensible narratives. "There’s piquant visual humor in all of Humphrey’s paintings, but it serves as a sociological or psychological (and frequently sexually- or racially-tinged) hook rather than a smarmy snare-drum punch line, to jump-start deeper inquiry. With clear intent and laserlike focus, Humphrey does precisely what a painter ought to do: he makes you look hard and keeps you thinking even harder.” Jonathan Stevenson, Two Coats of Paint.