In Conversation: An-My Lê and Dawoud Bey

Videos Jan. 21, 2021

Please join us for a conversation between artists Dawoud Bey and An-My Lê moderated by Carnegie Museum of Art curator of photography Dan Leers. This special event features two renowned photographers who are making some of the most exciting and instantly recognizable images today, expanding our ideas about landscapes and how we experience them.

Dawoud Bey began his career as an artist in 1975 with a series of pictures called Harlem, USA. This series was exhibited in his first one-person exhibition in 1979, at the Studio Museum in Harlem. More recently, he has turned to landscape in a series entitled Night Coming Tenderly, Black, which references the presence of the Underground Railroad in the Cleveland area. An-My Lê makes evocative images that draw on a tradition of landscape photography to address the complexity of war. Photographing military training, reenactments, and Hollywood film shoots, Lê creates nuanced pictures that explore the landscape as a backdrop to conflict. More than 100 of her photographs are currently on view in the first-ever survey of her work organized by Carnegie Museum of Art.

While Bey and Lê graduated from the same MFA program in 1993, this marks the first time that they will be in dialogue in a public program. The conversation will cover their artistic beginnings, their shared trajectories, and the significance of the contemporary landscape to their current photographic practices.

About the Speakers

Dawoud Bey was born in New York City and is currently Professor of Art and a former Distinguished College Artist at Columbia College Chicago. His work has been exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the National Gallery of Art. In 2020, Bey’s work was the subject of a retrospective exhibition entitled Dawoud Bey: An American Project, co-organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He has been honored with numerous fellowships over the course of his long career, including a MacArthur Fellowship.

An-My Lê was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1960. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn and is the Charles Franklin Kellogg and Grace E. Ramsey Kellogg Professor in the Arts at Bard College. Lê was educated at Stanford University and Yale University and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship. Solo exhibitions of Lê’s work have been presented at the Sheldon Art Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska and the Hasselblad Foundation in Gothenburg, Sweden as well as the Baltimore Museum of Art, Dia: Beacon, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and MoMA PS1. In 2020, Carnegie Museum of Art debuted the first career survey and catalogue of Lê’s work, An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain, which will travel to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and the Milwaukee Museum of Art in 2021.