Deana Lawson

Deana Lawson (b. 1979, Rochester, New York) is shortlisted for her exhibition Centropy, shown at Kunsthalle, Basel from 9 June – 11 October 2020. Centropy offered a precisely choreographed constellation of works (spanning 2013-2020) including large scale photographs, holograms, 16mm projections, video works and smaller images printed on mirrors or decorated with rock crystals.

For over eighteen years, the artist Deana Lawson has been engaged in the sensuous and complex depiction of black life through the principal form of the photographic portrait.

– Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa from the essay ‘Into Light’, DBPFP22 catalogue

About The Project

Lawson creates richly layered images and scenarios that are rooted in the familiar, but through a subtle but rather crude approach, operating as a ‘portal’ that frames Black experiences and stereotypes to create a “big family.” an evolving mythology.” The protagonist in life is generally a stranger whom he meets by chance or intentionally plays a certain role. They are presented in intimate, staged portraits or tableaux, reflecting domestic vernacular language, albums and borrowing allusions from family history and photography but are lightly embellished with symbols, embellishments and objects of reflection that work within the Black diaspora and suggest a mystical realm. extra on the surface. In this place of creative and spiritual rearrangement, Lawson and his characters reign supreme.

Listen to Lawson’s recent panel discussion about the state of photography today
Deana Lawson in conversation with Tracy K. Smith