February 22, 2008 - Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) - Lyle Ashton Harris
February 22, 2008

Lyle Ashton Harris

Lyle Ashton Harris
Unitled (Kokrobitey #3), 2005
Working image.
Courtesy of the artist
and CRG Gallery, New York.

Lyle Ashton Harris
Blow Up

8 February 2008 to 27 May 2008

7380 E. 2nd Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251, U.S.A.
Phone: 480-874-4666


Lyle Ashton Harris: Blow Up

This first museum survey of Lyle Ashton Harris’s art spans nearly twenty years of his art, from the formal studio self-portraits for which he first gained acclaim in the late 1980s to the large-scale constructions featured in the 2007 Venice Biennale. Harris approaches photography as a social performance. He “blows up” preconceptions of portraiture, mass-media imagery and street photography as he zeroes in on the viewers’ role as a reader of images—images that are also evidence of one’s sense of self, gender and race. This exhibition is structured as a vast collage of imagery that weaves back and forth over time and reveals the artist’s dynamic, recombinant creative process.

Harris has moved from the self-as-subject to a broader interest in the anthropology of images. He is an assistant professor at New York University (and teaches in its study-abroad program in Accra, Ghana) as well as a photojournalist for periodicals such as the New York Times, expertise that informs his thinking about the potential of photography amid globalization. His creative use of collage on a grand scale in this exhibition both documents the expansive course of his vision and reveals his intellectual methodology. Harris’s collages recall the art-historical traditions of collage as a form of social commentary, as seen in the work of Hannah Höch and Robert Rauschenberg, for example.

With this exhibition, SMoCA debuts Harris’s first installation inspired by his sojourns in Ghana, as well as his use of video in conjunction with his collage work. The monumental Accra My Love, 2007-08, includes hundreds of Harris’s photographs and extensive video footage shot in Ghana, alongside found imagery: it reflects the tensions, seen on the public stage, between traditional African art and the infiltration of Western popular culture.

Organized by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

Sponsored by Yvette Craddock; Janis Leonard; Linda and Sherman Saperstein; Mikki and Stanley Weithorn; and the SMoCA Salon.

Lyle Ashton Harris: Blow Up will travel to the UB Art Gallery, Center for the Arts, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, Aug 26 through Oct 18, 2008.

This exhibition is available for travel beginning in November, 2008. To receive a full exhibition proposal packet please contact exhibition curator Cassandra Coblentz, 480-874-4637, or cassandrac@sccarts.org

Lyle Ashton Harris: Blow Up Available by March 5th, 2008

The exhibition is accompanied by a book co-published with Gregory R. Miller & Co., New York and distributed internationally by DAP. It includes essays by Cassandra Coblentz (associate curator, SMoCA), noted Ghanaian scholar Kwame Anthony Appiah (Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Philosophy, Princeton University, New Jersey) and art historian Sarah Elizabeth Lewis (former curatorial assistant, Museum of Modern Art, New York, and a Ph.D. candidate at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut), and a conversation between the artist and writer Senam Okudzeto.

Wednesday, 5 March, 7:00 pm
: Discussion with artists Lyle Ashton Harris and Liz Cohen on their use of photography, performance and the body. Stage 2 Theater (adjacent to SMoCA), SMoCA members. Tickets at: 480-994-ARTS (2787)

For further information please visit our website www.smoca.org

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art [SMoCA]
7380 E. 2nd Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Phone: 480-874-4666
Fax: 480-874-4655
e-mail: smoca@sccarts.org

Museum hours: Tue, Wed, Fri + Sat: 10am – 5pm; Thurs 10am – 8pm; Sun 12 noon- 5pm
closed on Mondays

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA)
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