Untitled, from the Framed by Modernism series


Carrie Mae Weems (American, born 1953)




Gelatin silver print


Image/Sight: 19 1/2 × 19 1/4 inches (49.5 cm × 48.9 cm) Support/Overall: 34 1/8 × 28 inches (86.7 cm × 71.1 cm)


Gift of The National Millennium Survey organized by The College of Santa Fe and the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego

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Carrie Mae Weems creates powerful, moving works that interrogate the intertwining of race, gender, sexuality, and politics. This picture is from a 1996 collaboration with painter Robert Colescott. In most of the pictures from this series, an unclothed Weems is tucked into the corner, performing the historically passive role of female models while the painter and his work occupy the center of the image. Here, however, Weems reverses the power dynamic by claiming center stage, standing tall, coolly regarding the viewer as the painter retreats to the corner, hiding his face. For Weems, the piece reveals how both the artist and the model are caught (or framed) within art history’s exclusionary set of values and hierarchies.

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