Back again to be exhibited for the first time in over 30 years, the Art Institute of Chicago presents Harlem, U.S.A., a full collection of 25 photographs captured by African American renowned photographer, Dawoud Bey. Harlem, U.S.A. originally premiered at the Studio Museum in Harlem, marking Bey’s very first solo exhibition in 1979. The images function as documentation of Bey’s experience in Harlem and its surrounding neighborhood during his residency at the museum. Now, decades later these photos reappear, fresh— strikingly different from his much later work. The show opens May 2 and lasts through September 9.
In addition to Harlem, U.S.A., one week later the Renaissance Society will be exhibiting Picturing People, an expansive career survey of Dawoud Bey’s work at the University of Chicago campus, Cobb Hall, in Hyde Park. Expanding from street photography to formal studio portraiture, Bey is recognized for his outstanding commitment to portraiture as a means for investigating community and contemporary society. The show will also include, Strangers/Community, a series which brings together a double portrait people from one community who were previously unknown to each other. He quotes,
"My work as an artist has been about giving ordinary people an enhanced presence in the world through my photographs. I see my work as a way to bring the human community into a conversation with itself. Hopefully through my photographs viewers come to know not only something about the people that I photograph, but something about themselves as well. My career survey at the Renaissance Society is an opportunity to sum up what I have been doing and thinking about for the past 36 years. It is an opportunity to see all of these photographs and ideas in relation to each other,"
Dawoud Bey born 1953 and raised in Queens, NY is a Distinguished College Artist and professor at Columbia College Chicago since 1998. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Fogg Art Museum, and Chicago's very own, Art Institute.
The Art Institute of Chicago
May 2 - September 9, 2012
5811 S. Ellis Ave
May 13 - June 24, 2012