Artist Carrie Mae Weems will deliver the Bunny and Charles Burson Distinguished Visiting Lecture, titled Color: Real and Imagined, as part of the Sam Fox School Public Lecture Series.
Over the past thirty years, Weems has worked toward developing a complex body of art that has employed photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation, and video. Her work has led her to investigate family relationships, gender roles, the histories of racism, sexism, class, and various political systems.
While Weems employs a variety of means to address an array of issues, present in all of her work is an overarching commitment to better understanding the present by closely examining history and the social fabric of identity. While African Americans are often her subjects, Weems wants "people of color to stand for the human multitudes" and for her art to resonate with all audiences.
In a recent review of her traveling 30-year retrospective in the New York Times, Holland Cotter said, "Ms. Weems is what she has always been, a superb image maker and a moral force, focused and irrepressible."
Weems has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major national and international museums including the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York. Most recently her work was on view at the Pippy Houldsworth Gallery in London.
Weems has received numerous awards, grants, and fellowships including the prestigious Prix de Roma, the National Endowment of the Arts, the Alpert, the Anonymous was a Woman, and the Tiffany Awards. In 2012, she was presented with one of the first US Department of State's Medals of Arts in recognition of her commitment to the State Department's Art in Embassies program.
In 2013 Weems was not only the recipient of a MacArthur "genius" grant, but she also received the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014 she received the BET Honors Visual Artist award and the Lucie Award for Fine Art photography, and was one of four artists honored at the Guggenheim International Gala.
She is represented in public and private collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Weems has been represented by Jack Shainman Gallery since 2008. Her exhibitions with the gallery include Slow Fade to Black (2010); Signs Taken for Wonders (2009), curated by Isolde Brielmaier; Carrie Mae Weems: A Survey (2008); and The Whole World is Rotten (2005).
Carrie Mae Weems, Untitled (Colored People Grid), 2009–10. Thirty-one screen-printed papers and eleven inkjet prints, AP 2/2 (ed. 5), 87 7/8 x 75 3/16" (overall). Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis. University purchase, Bixby Fund, and with funds from Bunny and Charles Burson, Helen Kornblum, Kim and Bruce Olson, and Barbara Eagleton, 2014.