Race, Love, and Labor

Center for Photography , Woodstock, NY , United States
23 Jul 2016 - 16 Oct 2016

Race, Love, and Labor

Image Credit: LaToya Ruby Frazier, Mommie, 2008, gelatin silver print, 14 5/8 x 18 1/4″

The Center for Photography at Woodstock presents Race, Love, and Labor, an exhibition of work by CPW’s artist-in-residence.

Curated by Sarah Lewis, the traveling exhibition will be on display at CPW from July 23 through October 16, 2016. The public reception will be held on Friday, July 29 at 6pm, followed directly by an artist talk with CPW artists-in-residence Jared Thorne and Sheida Soleimani, starting at 7pm.

The artists whose work is featured in this exhibition are Endia Beal, William Cordova, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Tommy Kha, Deana Lawson, Alma Leiva, Gina Osterloh, Dawit L. Petros, Tim Portlock, Xaviera Simmons, and Joanna Tam.

Since 1999, over 100 artists and writers of color working in the photographic arts have created vital images during their residencies at CPW. Participants in the Woodstock AIR Program donate one or more prints to CPW’s permanent collection, forming a corpus that captures the shifting currents of contemporary photographic practices. Lewis, who is an acclaimed author, art historian, and assistant professor at Harvard, curated this groundbreaking selection of work from CPW’s collection, which is housed at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz.

“It is impossible to separate the history of photography from the history of labor, love, and race in America. A reflective look at the collection shows that a critical function of photography, through a vast range of aesthetics, is the labor of becoming and the work it entails—on the land and within our inner worlds,” says Lewis. “This exhibition includes a range of such photographs, from pictures by LaToya Ruby Frazier, whose fierce portrayals of the consequences of work on well-being and human dignity sears the soul with a light that Walker Evans could have never anticipated, to images by Deana Lawson who expertly shows a hard won self-possession through her pioneering portrayal of nude forms.”

Artists and writers invited to CPW’s workspace and critical studies residency are encouraged to break new ground and deepen their commitment to their photographic practices. The support of CPW’s dedicated staff—all artists themselves—facilitates this creative process. For many of its participants, Woodstock AIR marks their first workspace residency experience—a time in which they are singularly recognized as an artist and given the time, space, and means to be one. After their residency, many CPW AIRs have gone on to show substantial bodies of work at prominent venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and more. Some artists-in-residence have received considerable acclaim, such as Xaviera Simmons, who recently received the coveted Robert Rauschenberg Award for the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, or LaToya Ruby Frazier, who received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and Macarthur Genius Award.

Originally shown under the title Race, Love, and Labor: New Work from the Center for Photography at Woodstock’s Artist-in-Residency Program, this exhibition is an excellent example of curatorial collaborations between CPW and the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art drawn from CPW’s permanent collection. These exhibitions have their genesis in The Dorsky’s longstanding relationship with CPW, which began in June 1995 when CPW delivered 895 photographs on long-term loan to the SUNY New Paltz campus. Since then, the collection has grown to more than 1,800 objects.

The exhibition began at the Dorsky in 2014. Its final stop will be at the Staller Center for the Arts at Stony Brook University in 2017. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition. The catalogue includes a curatorial statement by Lewis, and texts by Dorsky Museum Director Sara Pasti and former CPW Director Ariel Shanberg. Designed by William van Roden, the catalogue is published by The Dorsky Museum and distributed through SUNY Press. Major funding for the publication is provided by the Howard Greenberg Photography Endowment at The Dorsky Museum.

About the curator:

Sarah Lewis
is the Assistant Professor of History of Art and Architecture and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Before joining the faculty at Harvard, she held curatorial positions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Tate Modern, London and taught at Yale University School of Art. Her scholarship been published in many journals as well as in The New Yorker, the New York Times, Aperture, Artforum and in publications for the Smithsonian, The Museum of Modern Art, and Rizzoli. She is also the guest editor of the “Vision & Justice” special issue of Aperture (Summer 2016) and author of the bestseller, The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery. Lewis’s board service includes the Andy Warhol Foundation of the Visual Arts and Creative Time. She received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard, an M. Phil from Oxford in Economic and Social History, and her Ph.D. in History of Art from Yale. She lives in Cambridge, MA and New York City.




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