Gordon Parks, Department Store, Mobile, Alabama, 1956

Mickalene Thomas, Remember Me, 2006

LaToya Ruby Frazier, Campaign for Braddock Hospital (Save our Community Hospital), 2011

Press Release

Fifty Years After: Gordon Parks, Mickalene Thomas, and LaToya Ruby Frazier
New exhibition opens at The Gordon Parks Foundation's 48 Wheeler exhibition space

Opening Reception: October 28th from 6:00-8:00pm
A Brief Discussion with LaToya Ruby Frazier at 7:00pm
Book Signing to Follow

Pleasantville, NYThe Gordon Parks Foundation is pleased to announce a group exhibition, Fifty Years After: Gordon Parks, Mickalene Thomas, LaToya Ruby Frazier, which will be on display from October 22, 2016 through January 28, 2017 with an opening reception on Friday, October 28. The exhibition was curated by James Barron Art in Kent, Connecticut where it also included work by Carrie Mae Weems. It has been fifty years since the Civil Rights movement and since Gordon Parks’ remarkable photographs opened the door for successive generations of black photographers. This exhibition honors the achievements of these photographers.

Parks’ iconic photographs tell the story of the postwar American experience, focusing on civil rights, poverty, and race relations from the early 1940s until his death in 2006. The exhibition highlights photographs from Parks’ documentation of life in mid-twentieth century Harlem. Mickalene Thomas and LaToya Ruby Frazier use photography to document black life in America and move Parks’ idiom further by inserting family members, friends, lovers and themselves into the work, creating images that speak to both personal experience and more broadly to relationships, class, and equality.

Mickalene Thomas focuses on the individual, by photographing her friends and family. Her work addresses stereotypes and misconceptions of the black experience and female form. Thomas photographs her models — including herself, her mother, and friends/lovers — in studio sets inspired by music and films from the 1970s, surrounded by intensely colored and embellished fabrics reminiscent of her paintings. Mickalene Thomas’ work is held in many collections, including Art Institute of Chicago, Baltimore Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, International Center of Photography, among many others. Her exhibition Mickalene Thomas: Do I Look Like a Lady? will open at LA MOCA on October 16, 2016.

LaToya Ruby Frazier’s The Notion of Family tells the twelve-year story of Braddock, Pennsylvania, the deteriorating steel community in which she grew up. The photographs show the decline of industry in America and explore its effects on the individual family across generations. Frazier is the recipient of a MacArthur fellowship, a Guggenheim fellowship, and The Gordon Parks Foundation Award (2016), among many other awards. Her work has been widely exhibited and collected by institutions both nationally and internationally: Museum of Modern Art; Whitney Museum of American Art; Brooklyn Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; among others.

A reception scheduled for Friday, October 28 will include a discussion with LaToya Ruby Frazier who will also be available to sign copies of her book The Notion of Family, which will also be available for purchase. The event will take place from 6:00-8:00pm, featuring a brief discussion with LaToya Ruby Frazier at 7:00pm. 

About Gordon Parks
Gordon Parks was one of the seminal figures of twentieth century photography. A humanitarian with a deep commitment to social justice, he left behind a body of work that documents many of the most important aspects of American culture from the early 1940s up until his death in 2006, with a focus on race relations, poverty, civil rights, and urban life. In addition, Parks was also a celebrated composer, author, and filmmaker who interacted with many of the most prominent people of his era - from politicians and artists to celebrities and athletes.

About The Gordon Parks Foundation exhibition space
The Gordon Parks Foundation's mission is to permanently preserve the work of Gordon Parks, make it available to the public through exhibitions, books, and electronic media, and support artistic and educational activities that advance what Parks described as "the common search for a better life and a better world." The primary purpose of The Gordon Parks Foundation’s exhibition space is to present focused exhibits of Parks’ photography, as part of the Foundation's commitment to educating the public and preserving his work.

Hours & Admission
Free and open to the public.

Monday-Friday: 10am - 4pm

Saturday: 10am-3pm

48 Wheeler Avenue, Floor 1
Pleasantville, NY 10570
Tel: (914) 238-2619

Facebook: The Gordon Parks Foundation
Twitter: @GparksFound
Instagram: gordonparksfoundation
Website: www.gordonparksfoundation.org
For more information and press images, please contact Brigid Slattery: brigid@mkfound.org or 914-238-2619.