ON WITH THE SHOW: The 2020 Hugo Boss Prize winner Deana Lawson’s exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will bow Friday.
The photo-based artist earned her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. She is the 13th artist to be awarded the biennial prize that was started in 1996 to recognize significant achievement in contemporary art.
Lawson’s “Centropy” will feature new and previous work including large-scale photographs with holograms embedded in them. Her show will be on view through Oct. 11. Her photos and films are usually hatched from chance encounters with strangers that lead to collaborations or those whom she intentionally seeks out.
Her work examines the body’s ability to channel personal and social histories. Drawing on historical portraiture and the family album, Lawson creates scenes that blend lived experiences with imagined narratives. “The aesthetics and intergenerational connectivity of the Black diaspora guide Lawson’s choice of subject matter,” according to press material provided by the museum. The photographs will be displayed as a dense constellation that surrounds a rendering of a torus, a three-dimensional shape formed by a circle rotating around a central axis.
After being forced to shutter last year not long after AMO/Rem Koolhaas’ “Countryside: The Future” had been unveiled, the Upper East Side museum reopened in October. As a result of the shutdown, dozens of employees were pink-slipped and the Guggenheim reportedly lost $1.4 million for each month that it was closed.
There is more to come from Lawson at the Guggenheim. In September, a short film highlighting her artistic practice will be released. Cinematographer Bradford Young and Ummah Chroma Creative Partners are also collaborating on the film.
The new exhibition features works that were done and supported by The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Visual Arts at Princeton University, where Lawson is professor of visual arts.
The artist divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, and her work has been shown in solo exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Basel, Huis Marseille and the Museum von Fotografie, among other museums and cultural institutions.