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Lyle Ashton Harris: Our first and last love

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Art - Exhibit

Date & Time: Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, February 9, 2023 - July 2, 2023
11:00 AM-5:00 PM

Suggested Audiences: Middle School, High School, College, Adult, Elders
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Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University
Lois Foster Wing
415 South Street
Waltham, MA 02453
Cost: Free admission
Description: Drawing together photographs and installations from both his celebrated and lesser-known series, Lyle Ashton Harris: Our first and last love charts new connections across the artistic practice of Lyle Ashton Harris (b. 1965, Bronx, NY). His first solo presentation in New England in more than two decades, the exhibition explores Harriss critical examination of identity and self-portraiture while tracing central themes and formal approaches in his work of the last 35 years.

The artists recently-completed Shadow Works anchor the exhibition. In these meticulous constructions, photographic prints are set within geometric frames of stretched Ghanaian funerary textiles, along with shells, shards of pottery, and cuttings of the artists own hair. Our first and last love follows the cues of the Shadow Works collaged and pictured elementswhich include earlier artworks and reference materials, personal snapshots, and handwritten notesto shed light on Harriss layered approach to his practice.

Harriss work engages with broad social and political dialogues while also speaking with revelatory tenderness to his own communities, and to personal struggles, sorrows, and self-illuminations. Groupings centered around singular Shadow Works will expand upon these multiple through lines, including Harriss continued examination of otherness and belonging; the framing and self-presentation of Black and queer individuals; violence as a dark undercurrent of intimacy and desire; tenderness and vulnerability; and notions of legacyboth inherited and self-defined.
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Entered by: Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University (

Created: December 1, 2022 at 2:08 PM

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