Deana Lawson
Various / 2022–2023

Deana Lawson, Binky and Tony Forever, 2009

“I photograph family, friends, and strangers, and I operate on the belief that my own being is found in union with those I take pictures of.” –Deana Lawson

This exhibition is the first museum survey dedicated to the work of Deana Lawson, a singular voice in photography today. For more than 15 years, Lawson has been investigating and challenging conventional representations of Black life through a wide spectrum of photographic languages, including the family album, studio portraiture, staged tableaux, documentary pictures, and appropriated images.

 

Deana Lawson, Brother and Sister Soweto, 2017

Deana Lawson, Birthing Beautiful Communities

Deana Lawson, Chief, 2019

Deana Lawson, Communion, 2017

Deana Lawson, Cortez, 2016

Deana Lawson, Coulson Family, 2008

Deana Lawson, Cowboys, 2014

Deana Lawson, Girls with Oiled Faces, 2004

Deana Lawson, Hellshire Beach Towel with Flies Portmore Jamaca, 2013

Deana Lawson, Nation, 2018

Deana Lawson, Nikki, 2015

Deana Lawson, Oath, 2013

Deana Lawson, Sons of Cush, 2016

Deana Lawson, Portal, 2017

Deana Lawson, Uncle Mack, 2016

Deana Lawson, Walking Home on Some Road Gemena DR Congo, 2015

Deana Lawson, Trap Car, 2016

Engaging acquaintances as well as strangers she meets on the street, Lawson meticulously poses her subjects in highly staged photographs that picture narratives of family, love, and desire, and create what the artist describes as “a mirror of everyday life, but also a projection of what I want to happen. It’s about setting a different standard of values and saying that everyday Black lives, everyday experiences, are beautiful, and powerful, and intelligent.”

This survey exhibition will include a selection of photographs from 2004 to the present, and will be accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue, featuring the voices and perspectives of a variety of scholars, historians, and writers. Deana Lawson will travel to MoMA PS1 April 14 – September 5, 2022 and to the High Museum October 7, 2022 – February 19, 2023.

 

Deana Lawson, Installation view, Photo Artpil

Deana Lawson, Installation view, Photo Artpil

Deana Lawson, Installation view, Photo Artpil

This exhibition is co-organized by ICA/Boston and MoMA PS1. Organized by Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, ICA/Boston, and Peter Eleey, Curator-at-Large, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing and Shanghai, with Anni Pullagura, Curatorial Assistant, ICA/Boston.

Major support for Deana Lawson is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

 

Deana Lawson

ICA / Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
November 4, 2021 – February 27, 2022
Visit the exhibition page >

MoMA / Museum of Modern Art, New York
April 13 – September 5, 2022
Visit the exhibition page >

High Museum of Art, Atlanta
October 7, 2022 – February 19, 2023
Visit the exhibition page >

 

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