For more than two decades Lyle Ashton Harris has cultivated a diverse artistic practice ranging from photographic media, collage, installation and performance. His work explores intersections between the personal and the political, examining the impact of ethnicity, gender and desire on the contemporary social and cultural dynamic. Known for his self-portraits and use of pop culture icons, such as Billie Holiday, Zinedine Zidane and Michael Jackson, Harris teases the viewers’ perceptions and expectations, re-signifying cultural cursors and recalibrating the familiar with the extraordinary.
Hosted by the College of Charleston’s Department of Studio Art, a free lecture will be presented by Harris focusing on his artwork on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 6:00p.m., in (NEW VENUE) Room 309/Simons Center (54 Saint Philip St.).
Sara Frankel, Chair of the Studio Art Department, expounds, “In addition to the public lecture, Mr. Harris will meet with our advanced photography students and also students in the “Ancestries of Enslavement” class in the African American Studies Program; his visit is a cross-curricular effort and is sponsored by the School of the Arts Dean’s Excellence Fund, the Frances Grimball Gaud Professor of Art Fund, the Marilynn and John Hill Studio Art Support Fund, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, the College’s Office of Institutional Diversity, and the College’s African American Studies Program.”
Harris’ work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the 52nd Venice Biennale. His work has been acquired by major international museums, most recently by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His commissioned work has been featured in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine and the New Yorker. In 2014 Harris joined the board of trustees at the American Academy in Rome and was named the 10th recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Born in New York City, Harris spent his formative years in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. He received his Bachelor of Arts with Honors from Wesleyan University in 1988 and a Masters in Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts in 1990. He currently lives and works in New York City and is an Associate Professor at New York University.
Earlier this year, Harris was awarded his own room at the Whitney Museum Biennial exhibition, in which he displayed a video-portrait installation.