On view through February 19
Featuring work made over the past two decades, this exhibition is the first museum survey dedicated to Deana Lawson. Working primarily in photography, Lawson investigates and challenges conventional representations of Black identities and bodies. Her work evokes a range of photographic histories and styles, including family albums, studio portraiture, and staged tableaux; she also employs documentary pictures and appropriated images. In Lawson’s highly staged scenes, individuals, couples, and families are pictured in intimate domestic spaces and public settings, interacting with one another. The artist describes her work 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.” Lawson’s project is global in scope, as she creates her images throughout the African diaspora in locations as varied as Brooklyn, Haiti, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Southern United States. This broad geographical range points to a collective memory of shared experiences and various cultural histories of the past.
Exhibition catalogue available for purchase at the Museum Shop and at museumshop.high.org.
LIFELONG LEARNING COURSE: AS THEY APPEAR TO BE: CONSTRUCTING IMAGES THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY
Wednesdays, October 26–December 7, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
(No class November 23)
Members: $200, Not-Yet-Members: $250
Offered in connection with Deana Lawson, this online photography class will prompt participants to construct their own distinctive smartphone photographs that speak to notions of identity, representation, and human relationships. Led by Nydia Blas, the class will explore the opportunities and technical possibilities inherent in using smartphone cameras and the ways we can fashion images that convey information—true or untrue—about ourselves and others. Visit high.org for details.
PATRON+ DEANA LAWSON TOUR
Saturday, November 12, 11 a.m.
At the Patron level and above, members receive exclusive invitations to docent-led tours of special exhibitions. Tours are offered monthly, and space is limited. Register today at high.org/member-exclusives.
TALKBACK WITH COUNTER NARRATIVE PROJECT
Friday, November 18, and Friday, December 2
Join us for an in-gallery talkback focusing on themes found in the exhibition Deana Lawson. Charles Stephens, founder and executive director of the Counter Narrative Project, will lead these discussions alongside Maria L. Kelly, Assistant Curator of Photography at the High. Visit high.org for details.
CURATOR TALK: EVA RESPINI
Thursday, January 26, 7 p.m., Hill Auditorium
Join us to learn more about Deana Lawson. Hear from Eva Respini, the exhibition curator and Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Barbara Lee Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. Visit high.org for tickets. Free for members.