Dawoud Bey (b.1953, Queens, NY) has committed more than four decades to photographing underrepresented subjects and fostering dialogue that addresses African American history and contemporary society and politics. The artist’s first retrospective in twenty-five years, An American Project,, explores the arc of Bey’s career from 1975 to 2017 through nearly eighty works across eight major series. Reflecting the evolution of Bey’s vision, the exhibition examines his enduring engagement with portraiture, place, and history. From early portraits in Harlem and classic street photography to multi-panel studio portraits and nocturnal landscapes, Bey has consistently focused his lens on Black individuals, foregrounding the uniqueness of his subjects while reflecting the profound and ongoing effects of the history of the United States. Co-organized with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, An American Project will be on view at the Whitney from April 17, 2021 through October 3, 2021. The exhibition is co-curated by Corey Keller, curator of photography at SFMOMA, and Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
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