About the Photographer
American, b. 1979
Deanna Lawson’s images negotiate issues of identity, sexuality, family, and spirituality through the examination of the body. Collaborating with the strangers she depicts, Lawson creates staged portraits informed by the materiality and aesthetics of black culture across the globe. Inspired by her own family albums in conversation the tradition of figurative portraiture, Lawson’s work combines both formal and informal aesthetics. Often photographing her subjects in their homes, Lawson is interested in in creating a sense of intimacy with her subjects and the environments they inhabit.
Deana Lawson completed a BFA at Pennsylvania State University (2001) and a MFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design (2004). Her work has been exhibited both national and internationally, including Yancey Richardson Gallery (2012), Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2011), P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, NY (2010), The Studio Museum, Harlem, NY (2010 & 2005), Light Work Gallery, Syracuse, NY (2009), KIT Museum, Dusseldorf, Germany (2008), and Milk Contemporary, Copenhagen, Denmark (2008). Lawson is the recipient of the John Gutmann Photography Fellowship (2010), Aaron Siskind Fellowship Grant (2008), and an NYFA Grant (2006). Lawson has participated in residencies including the 2010 Workspace Residency at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York, NY (2009), Light Work, Syracuse, NY (2008) and Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY (2007). She currently lives and works in Oakland, California and Brooklyn, New York.