Hank Willis Thomas

Artist lecture Thursday, April 13, 2017 7PM
Minnesota Street Project, 1275 Minnesota Street, San Francisco CA, 94107
Zero Hour, 2012.

Free and open to the public
No RSVP – Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis

Photo conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas works with themes related to identity, history and popular culture. He often incorporates recognizable icons into his work, such as well-known advertising and branding campaigns, to explore the impact of mass image culture on the construction of identity. He first became known for B®anded, a series of photographs, and Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America 1968-2008, a body of work created from appropriating advertising images. In an interview with Time Magazine, Thomas said, “Part of advertising’s success is based on its ability to reinforce generalizations developed around race, gender and ethnicity which are generally false, but [these generalizations] can sometimes be entertaining, sometimes true, and sometimes horrifying.”

Thomas sees cultural disconnects everywhere in day-to-day living particularly as it relates to race. His work examines and exposes deep divides within our culture. Of Thomas’ work in the collaborative transmedia project, Question Bridge, Holland Cotter wrote in the New York Times, “…he has been particularly astute in examining the workings of what W.E.B. Du Bois called double consciousness, the condition in which people see themselves reflected, often negatively, in the view of others and end up molding their lives to confirm that view.” In 2015, Thomas co-founded For Freedoms, the first artist-run Super PAC, which leverages the power of art to foster deeper civic engagement within contemporary political discourse. Question Bridge and For Freedoms have also been awarded ICP Infinity Awards, in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

Thomas was the first recipient of the Aperture West Book Prize for his 2008 monograph, Pitch Blackness, published by Aperture. He received his BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and his MFA in Photography and MA in Visual and Critical Studies from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco. He has exhibited throughout the US and abroad including The International Center of Photography; Studio Museum in Harlem; Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford; National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.: Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain; and Musée du quai Branly, Paris, France.

Larry Sultan Visiting Artist Program

Pier 24 Photography is pleased to present the Larry Sultan Visiting Artist Program in collaboration with California College of the Arts and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Each year, the Larry Sultan Visiting Artist Program brings six photographers, writers, and curators to San Francisco to offer free and open lectures, and to work one-on-one with students at California College of the Arts.

Larry Sultan Photography Award

Awoiska van der Molen, #256-17, 2009

Awoiska van der Molen

Fall 2017 Residency
Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA

Click HERE for more information on the Larry Sultan Photography Award

The work of Awoiska van der Molen (b. 1972, Netherlands) develops from a desire to comprehend the core of the isolated world she photographs. In order to achieve the sense of solitude necessary to gain access to the stoic nature of the landscape, she spends long periods of time isolated in the natural environment. She takes time to experience the landscape and penetrates deep into the essence of the remote, hushed world created in her photographs. She immerses herself in the landscape, moves slowly, returns repeatedly and by doing so makes these unknown places her own. This gradual and solitary working process continues into the darkroom where her pictures are printed by hand—an intimate process—further imparting a unique stillness that emanates from her work.