Dawoud Bey

RGB Stories

February 1 – March 21, 2020

Rena Bransten Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of photographer Dawoud Bey, coinciding with the opening of his retrospective Dawoud Bey: An American Project at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on February 15, 2020 and traveling to the High Museum and the Whitney Museum.

Selected Work

“It seemed like a rather simple idea: a person in front of a camera can result in something deeply moving.”

The gallery exhibition brings together four distinct bodies of work: Harlem, U.S.A, Black-and-White Type 55 Polaroid Street Portraits, The Birmingham Project and Night Coming Tenderly, Black.

Harlem, U.S.A, Bey’s first significant project, debuted at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1979. Initially a response to his own family’s history in that community and the controversial exhibition Harlem on My Mind, the show Harlem, U.S.A developed the language and interests that have informed his practice to date. As Bey puts it, “It seemed like a rather simple idea: a person in front of a camera can result in something deeply moving.”

Black-and-White Type 55 Polaroid Street Portraits, 1987 – 1990, continues Bey’s explorations; place and person, portrait and subject, subject and photographer. Each photograph in this series is a profoundly sensitive psychological portrait, as well as a photograph of uncompromisingly exquisite
materiality.

About the Artist

A native New Yorker, Jonathan Calm is a visual artist in the media of photography and video whose work combines as well as challenges the aesthetic and ideological tenets of architecture, documentary journalism and sculpture. A central theme of his work is the relationship between photography and urban architecture, and the powerful role of images in the way architectural constructs shape the lives of individuals and communities.