Please note: this exhibition contains mature content.
The first installment of the biennial Ruttenberg Contemporary Photography Series features the work of New York–based photographer Deana Lawson. For nearly a decade, Lawson has been investigating the visual expression of global black culture and how individuals claim their identities within it. Through their look and presence, the subjects of Lawson’s posed photographs channel broader ideas about personal and social histories, sexuality, status, and spiritual beliefs.
Lawson began her work in and around her Brooklyn neighborhood but has recently branched out nationally and internationally to places such as Louisiana, Haiti, Jamaica, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. While her themes have remained consistent, her landscapes have shifted and broadened—the global scope of the pictures, in her words, “concern and affirm the sacred black body” and speak to a collective psychic memory of shared experiences.
Lawson begins her process by researching the communities she chooses for their cultural histories. Once on site, strangers she meets through chance encounters become her subjects, often following lengthy conversations and repeated visits. In recent years she has turned to a documentary style and has begun presenting found imagery as well, both moves that complicate how identity is projected and understood. While Lawson’s images have a strong sense of the present, they also engage in a dialogue with various cultural histories and carry implications for the future of black culture.
Sponsors The Ruttenberg Contemporary Photography Series is generously supported by the David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation.
17 hours 45 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago CLOSING SOON—Abstract/Object
Examine experimental works in film, photography, painting, and printed matter from the 1960s to present in a multimedia exhibition featuring Wolfgang Tillmans, Bruce Nauman, R. H. Quaytman, Mel Bochner, and Gordon Matta-Clark, among others.
Closing January 2—http://bit.ly/2gZxYCP
23 hours 23 min ago The Art Institute of Chicago TODAY at 12:00—Local high school choirs fill the museum with songs of the season, every day at noon on the Grand Staircase, now through Friday.
3 days 23 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago TOMORROW at 4:00—See the world premiere of “The Electric Stage” by performance collective Manual Cinema.
Manual Cinema uses vintage overhead projectors, multiple screens, puppets, actors, live camera feeds, sound design, and a live music ensemble to create immersive visual stories on stage and screen.