Deana Lawson

(1979) American


Deana Lawson is a Brooklyn-based contemporary photographer whose work examines themes of family, romance, and social status through the materiality of black culture and the subjects’ bodies. Much of Lawson’s work is inspired by traditional figurative portraiture and contemporary documentary practices. She creates images within the subjects’ domestic and social environments, giving insight into their aesthetics and lifestyles. Her subjects command the space they occupy, creating a dialogue about representation and the acknowledgement of black lives and experiences. Lawson received her BFA from Penn State University and her MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2004. Her work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and several other institutions. She received multiple fellowships, one of the most prominent being the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2013, which she used to continue her work in DR Congo, Haiti, Jamaica, and Ethiopia. In 2012, she began to teach at Princeton University and would go on to teach at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, the International Center of Photography in New York, and the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.
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