Carrie Mae Weems
American, 2016
All the Boys (Blocked 1)
Archival pigment and silkscreened panel mounted on gesso board
diptych, each framed panel: 31-3/8 x 27-3/8 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
L2019:87.3a,b
 
Carrie Mae Weems
American, 2014
Color, Real and Imagined
Archival pigment with silkscreened color blocks
framed: 38-3/4 x 54-13/16 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
L2019:87.9
 
Carrie Mae Weems
American, 2016
All the Boys (Profile 1)
Archival pigment mounted on gesso board
diptych, each framed panel: 35-3/8 x 27-3/8 inches
Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.
L2019:87.1a,b

Carrie Mae Weems: The Usual Suspects

January 18, 2020 to May 03, 2020

Nationally celebrated Portland-born artist Carrie Mae Weems uses photography, video, and installation to examine contemporary life and the African-American experience. In her exhibition The Usual Suspects, organized by Louisiana State University Museum of Art, Weems asks, “How do you measure a life?”

In this body of work, created between 2014 and 2018, Weems addresses the constructed nature of racial identity—specifically, representations that associate black bodies with criminality and the resultant killings of black men, women, and children without consequence. Through a formal language of blurred images, color blocks, stated facts, and meditative narration, she questions this sustained history of violence and judicial inaction.

The concept of grace also informed this complex body of work. Weems drew inspiration from the ancient Greek tragedy Antigone, in which the title character defies prevailing powers to bury her fallen brother. Weems’s urgency and eloquence in memorializing the deaths of Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and other victims of police violence is deeply compelling.

This spring, the University of Oregon will present Weems with an honorary doctoral degree in recognition of her profound contributions to the visual arts and the national conversation about race and injustice

Organized by Louisiana State University Museum of Art.