The Gordon Parks Foundation Mounts “American Family: Derrick Adams and Deana Lawson”
Friday, October 19
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
In celebration of the upcoming exhibition, American Family: Derrick Adams and Deana Lawson, the Gordon Parks Foundation will host a free artists’ reception with photographer Deana Lawson and multidisciplinary artist Derrick Adams, on Friday, October 19 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM. Both artists will attend and Lawson will sign copies of her highly anticipated new book, Deana Lawson: An Aperture Monograph, set to be published on Tuesday, September 25.
In American Family, the artists – who both draw inspiration from Parks – explore the complexity of the American character through familiar subjects with their own distinctive artistic approaches. On view concurrently with American Family will be a selection of Gordon Parks’ family portraits made during the 1950s in U.S. cities including Columbus, Ohio; St. Louis, Missouri; and Chicago, Illinois. Lawson notes, “Like Parks, my motivation is to give meaningful texture and complexity to images of global black culture.” Adams adds, “Parks’ influence…goes beyond the visual, into the meaning and purpose of why I feel it’s so important to show the many facets of black American life in ways that shed light onto the complexity and richness of our past, present and future.”
About Deana Lawson
Photographer Deana Lawson is currently working on prolonged series of portraits that continue her exploration of the body in diasporic spaces. Lawson received the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013, which gave her the opportunity photograph internationally. She has photographed in DR Congo, Haiti, Jamaica, Ethiopia, and most recently Swaziland and South Africa. Her work has been published in ArtForum, TIME Magazine, The New Yorker, GARAGE and Aperture. Lawson was included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial and recently had work on view at Sikkema Jenkins Gallery in New York. Deana Lawson’s first monograph, with an essay by Zadie Smith and an interview by Arthur Jafa, will be published by Aperture on September 25, 2018. Lawson is currently an Assistant Professor in Photography at Princeton University.
About Derrick Adams
Derrick Adams is a New York–based, multidisciplinary artist. His practice is rooted in deconstructivist philosophies such as the fragmentation and manipulation of structure and surface, and the marriage of complex and improbable forms. Through these techniques, Adams examines the force of popular culture and the media on the perception and construction of self-image. Adams received his MFA from Columbia University, BFA from Pratt Institute, and is an alumnus of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program, as well as the recipient of the Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, S.J. Weiler Award, and Agnes Martin Fellowship. He’s exhibited and performed at MoMA PS1, Brooklyn Museum of Art, PERFORMA, Studio Museum in Harlem, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The California African American Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Arts and Design, among other notable galleries and institutions. Adams’ work is in the permanent collections of Studio Museum in Harlem, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Birmingham Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art.
About The Gordon Parks Foundation
The Gordon Parks Foundation’s mission is to permanently preserve the work of Gordon Parks, make it available to the public through exhibitions, books, and electronic media, and support artistic and educational activities that advance what Parks described as “the common search for a better life and a better world.” The primary purpose of The Gordon Parks Foundation’s exhibition space is to present focused exhibits of Parks’ photography, as part of the Foundation’s commitment to educating the public and preserving his work.
About Gordon Parks
Gordon Parks was a seminal figure of twentieth century photography. A humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice, he left behind a body of work that documents many of the most important aspects of American culture from the early 1940s up until his death in 2006, with a focus on race relations, poverty, civil rights, and urban life. In addition, Parks was also a celebrated composer, author, and filmmaker who interacted with many of the most prominent people of his era – from politicians and artists to celebrities, and athletes.