When new director Sylvia Wolf took over a few years ago at the Henry Art Gallery, one of the best announcements she made was that the museum intends to work more closely with the vast resources and life of the university it's sitting on—the University of Washington. That was going to include a visiting scholar, and according to Betsey Brock, the Henry's spokesperson, a scholar has begun work at the Henry: That scholar's name is Deborah Willis
, an artist, a leading scholar of African American photography, chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and mother of the artist Hank Willis Thomas
Willis is clearly amazing, but where is she? She was working on the residency already for several months, and then went on break. I emailed her a few months ago and haven't heard back. So this is me calling you again, Deborah Willis! Email me!
- Ain't I A Woman (2009), by Mickalene Thomas; DVD, rhinestone, acrylic and enamel on panel
This morning, Willis's upcoming exhibition Posing Beauty in African American Culture
at the Williams College Museum of Art in Massachusetts (where former Seattle Art Museum curator Lisa Corrin is director) is a pick by Modern Art Notes
for what's notable around the country this fall. The show includes the artists Carrie Mae Weems, Renee Cox, and Mickalene Thomas, among others, adding up to about 85 works from public and private collections.
I can't wait to hear what she's getting up to in Seattle.