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Image of Deana Lawson Photograph

Event Details

February 10, 2023
7:00 pm –8:00 pm


Members: Free
Not-Yet-Members: $20


High Museum of Art
Hill Auditorium

Event Description

Join us in the new year to learn more about Deana Lawson, the first museum survey dedicated to Lawson and featuring her work made over the past two decades.Hear from Eva Respini, exhibition curator and Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Barbara Lee Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. She will be joined by professor and chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, Deborah Willis. Their conversation will explore Lawson’s work in the exhibition.

Headshot of Eva Respini

Eva Respini is Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs and Barbara Lee Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, where she has been leading the vision of its visual arts program since 2015. Her work brings attention to underrecognized artists or little-explored themes and practices in the art world.

Specializing in global contemporary art and image-making practices, Respini curated the critically acclaimed exhibitions Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today (2018) and When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art (2019) as well as ambitious solo presentations such as Huma Bhabha: They Live (2019), John Akomfrah: Purple (2019), and Firelei Báez (2021). Other notable exhibitions include a major retrospective of Cindy Sherman (2012) and surveys of Robert Heinecken (2014) and Walid Raad (2015).

Respini co-organized Deana Lawson (2022) and coedited the catalogue, with Peter Eleey, Curator-at-Large, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing and Shanghai. She is also curator and co-commissioner for the 2022 US Pavilion’s historic presentation of Simone Leigh in the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. She is organizing the first midcareer survey of Leigh’s work, opening at the ICA in 2023 before its tour across the country. Her writing has been published in books, catalogues, museum publications, and periodicals.

Photo Credit: Liza Voll Photography.


Deborah Willis, Ph.D., is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. She is also the director of NYU’s Center for Black Visual Culture. Her research examines photography’s multifaceted histories, visual culture, contemporary women photographers, and beauty. She is the author of The Black Civil War Soldier: A Visual History of Conflict and Citizenship (2021) and Posing Beauty: African American Images from the 1890s to the Present (2009), among other publications. She has curated exhibitions including Home: Reimagining Interiority at YoungArts, Miami (2022), Framing Moments: Photography from the Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts (2021), and “Free as they want to be”: Artists Committed to Memory at FotoFocus 2022. She has received many awards most recently, she received the Don Tyson Prize for the Advancement of American Art, a $200,000 prize awarded by the Cyrstal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. She holds BFA from Philadelphia College of Art, MA from The City University of New York, MFA from Pratt Institute, and Ph.D. from George Mason University.

Banner Image: Deana Lawson (American, born 1979), Coulson Family, 2008, pigment print, collection of the artist; courtesy of the artist, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles. © Deana Lawson.