February 1 – March 21, 2020
“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