Mom Relaxing my Hair by LaToya Ruby Frazier
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Gelatin silver print mounted to archival board
Edition of 3 + 2 APs (#2/3)
LaToya Ruby Frazier (b. 1982, Braddock, Pennsylvania) received her BFA in applied media arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (2004) and her MFA in art photography from Syracuse University (2007). She also studied under the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program (2010–2011) and was the Guna S. Mundheim Fellow for visual arts at the American Academy in Berlin (2013–2014).
Frazier works in photography, video and performance to build visual archives that address industrialism, rustbelt revitalization, environmental justice, healthcare inequity, family and communal history. In 2015 her first book The Notion of Family (Aperture 2014) received the International Center for Photography Infinity Award.
Frazier is currently an Associate Professor of Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has previously held academic and curatorial positions at Yale University School of Art, Rutgers University, and Syracuse University. Frazier lectures prolifically at academic and cultural institutions such as International Center of Photography, NY; Columbia University School of the Arts, NY; Parsons, New School, NY; Pratt Institute, NY; Cooper Union, NY; Tisch School of Arts, New York University; School of Visual Arts, NY; Freie Universitat Berlin, Dahlem Humanities Center and Hamburger Bahnhof; and Tate Modern, London among others.
Frazier’s work is exhibited widely in the U.S. and internationally, with notable solo exhibitions at Brooklyn Museum; Seattle Art Museum; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; and Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. Her work has also been featured in the following group shows: The Generational Triennial: Younger Than Jesus (2009), New Museum, NY; Greater New York (2010), MoMA PS1, NY; Commercial Break, Garage Projects (2011), 54th Venice Biennale; Gertrude’s/LOT (2011), Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Empire State (2013), Palazzo delle Esposizinoi, Rome; and The Way Of The Shovel: Art as Archaeology (2013), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago among many others. Her work has been exhibited in the following biennials: the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial (2012), NY; Recycling Memory: Recapturing the Lost City (2014), 11th Nicaraguan Visual Arts Biennial, Managua; Mom, am, I barbarian? (2013),13th Istanbul Biennial; and Busan Biennale (2014), South Korea.
Frazier is the recipient of many honors and awards including an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute (2017); fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's MacArthur Fellows Program (2015), TED Fellows (2015), and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2014); the Gwendolyn Knight & Jacob Lawrence Prize from the Seattle Art Museum (2013), the Theo Westenberger Award of the Creative Capital Foundation (2012), the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2011), and Art Matters (2010). In 2015, the Allegheny County Council (Pennsylvania, USA) awarded Frazier a Proclamation thanking her for "examining race, class, gender and citizenship in our society and inspiring a vision for the future that offers inclusion, equity and justice to all."
Her work can be found in public and private art collections such as Museum of Modern Art; Brooklyn Museum; Seattle Art Museum; Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh; Centre National Des Arts Plastiques, France; JP Morgan Chase Collection, Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago; Nasher Museum at Duke University, Durham, N.C.; Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Zabludowicz Collection, London, and Pomeranz Collection, Vienna among others.
Source: LaToya Ruby Frazier’s website
LaToya Ruby Frazier uses the conventions of social documentary and portraiture to expose untold stories of post-industrial decline in the United States. With her series “The Notion of Family”, Frazier presents images of herself and family members, with particular emphasis of collaborative portraits created with her mother and grandmother, in their hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania. Formerly a centre of steel production, the town is now in economic decline. Frazier photographs psychological portraits of three generations of women who have been affected by adverse social and economic circumstances yet share deep and complex ties. Frazier portrays herself, her mother and her grandmother as one, conveying rich emotions both through their faces and bodies and through images of objects in their home. The photographs range from unforgiving and sombre to quietly tender.
Artist Bio (PDF)
The End Of The Line - New York Times, 2018
LaToya Ruby Frazier: Documenting the American Family - New York Review of Books, February 2018
LaToya Ruby Frazier’s Notion of Family - New York Times, October 2014
No Man's Land: The Photography of Lynne Cohen - Canadian Art, 2002