David Hirschi was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in 1952. In 1974, Hirschi moved to San Francisco after graduating from the University of Utah where he received a BA magna cum laude in creative writing and art history. He continued his education at the Academy of Art College, San Francisco, from 1982 to 1983.
Hirschi relocated to northern New Mexico in 1991. While in New Mexico he exhibited at several local galleries and at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, where in 2001 he completed an installation of wall paintings with three other Santa Fe artists. From 1999 to 2006 he contributed works to "SITE Unseen," the biannual fundraiser for SITE Santa Fe.
In 2003 he was instrumental in the creation of a monthly program of artist lectures at Santa Fe Art Institute which he curated until 2005. His work has been shown in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas in the US and in Milan, Italy.
In the fall of 2006, Hirschi established his studio in Marfa, Texas, where he now lives.
"In 1995 I drastically changed my way of painting, dissatisfied with the results of my attempts at narrative painting and abstraction, painting derived from objects and subjects external to the act of painting in itself. I responded by reducing my painting to what I considered at the time to be its essentials — color applied to a surface. I started again and I wanted to start at the beginning, with a "beginner's mind." I began with three, small square paintings and by the end of two years had 14 paintings, each a different red, each the same size. So started my monochrome paintings and the sense I had arrived at a vocabulary which was my own. (It would not be until years later that I discovered the long history of monochrome painting after a long, self-imposed isolation from the art world while I 'figured things out.')
"I trace this desire for simplicity and reduction to a similar trajectory in my life. I moved into a cabin in Northern New Mexico in 1992 without electricity or running water. I learned first-hand what is meant by "chop wood, carry water" quite literally. (The reaction of friends was the same for both my life in the cabin and the later beginning of the monochromes — they thought I was insane.)
"I unabashedly admit to seeking to make paintings which are beautiful - in the sense a mathematical equation is called beautiful. I continue to ask myself each day when I enter the studio, what is essential in the act of painting, and I continue to be both intrigued and satisfied working within the long tradition of the monochrome."