Harlem gallery Gavin Brown’s Enterprise presents a solo exhibition of famed artist and photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier through February 25. The exhibition focuses on three of the MacArthur Genius’s bodies of work, each of which provides a commentary on social injustices of the American experience: Flint is Family, The Notion of Family and A Pilgrimage to Noah Purifoy’s Desert Art Museum.
Frazier’s works don’t only highlight issues like racism and economic decline; it sheds light on the people who are affected by these inequalities. Through photographs, video and text, these works become a valuable medium for storytelling.
Frazier’s Flint is Family series explores the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. For five months, Frazier enveloped herself in the lives of those affected by this national emergency. She spent this time with three generations of women who live in Flint while documenting their everyday lives.
For her The Notion of Family series, Frazier dove headfirst into the exploration of her own family and hometown of Braddock, PA. The works once again focus on three generations of women – this time her grandmother, her mother and herself. The series narrates the story of an eroding town as it shifted from a prosperous steel town to an economic ghost town.
Frazier once travelled, with fellow artist Abigail DeVille, to Noah Purifoy’s outdoor museum in Joshua Tree. The journey inspired her A Pilgrimage to Noah Purifoy’s Desert Art Museum collection. Purifoy, who fled Alabama for Los Angeles upon returning from WWII, collected burned materials from the famous Watts riots in the ‘60s. The materials became part of his artwork, a response to the riots.
Related exhibition programming allows for an added dialogue around the subjects of Frazier’s work. On February 17, “Art-Making” ‘Zine Project” participants will tell their own story in the form of a ‘zine, a popular grassroots tool used for highlighting social injustices. On February 24, two events will take place. First, LaToya Ruby Frazier will be “In Conversation” with Shea Cobb and Amber Hasan (founders of Flint, Michigan’s The Sister Tour) and Professor Fred Moten, who teaches courses about, and conducts research in, black studies, performance studies, poetics and critical theory. Following the discussion will be a performance by The Sister Tour, a group that supports teens and women in “harnessing their creative strength in the midst of chaos.”
Gavin Brown’s Enterprise is located at 439 W 127th Street, New York. Gallery Hours: Tues-Sun, 12-6pm.
Top image: Abigail DeVille and LaToya Ruby Frazier, Pioneertown Motel, Yucca Valley, CA 2016 on display in Gavin Brown’s Enterprise // photo source: gavinbrown.biz