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

Jonathan Calm, Double Vision (Recording I), 2018

Jonathan Calm

Fall 2019 Residency
Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, CA

Click HERE for more information on the Larry Sultan Photography Award

Jonathan Calm is a visual artist who works in photography, video, installation, and performance. A central theme of his work is the relationship between photography and urban architecture, and the powerful role of images in the way architectural constructs shape the lives of individuals and communities.

In his most recent work, Calm explores the complex representation of African-American automobility from a historical and contemporary perspective, focusing and drawing on the importance and resonance of the Negro Motorist Green Book. Of this project, he explains, “the image of the infinite highway and the unbridled freedom to roam the land has always been considered a quintessential expression of the modern American spirit, but the black American experience of travel, which involves heightened subjectivity and exposure, has to this day proven a precarious privilege rather than an inalienable right.”

Calm’s art practice is international in scope and has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including Frequency at the Studio Museum in Harlem (2005); Role Play at the Tate Britain (2006); Black Is, Black Ain’t at the University of Chicago’s Renaissance Society (2008); Streetwise at the Reina Sophia Museum in Madrid (2008) and the Chelsea Art Museum (2011); deCordova Biennial at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (2013); and Rooted Movements at LMAKprojects in New York City (2014). Calm currently lives in Palo Alto, CA where he is a faculty member in the Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University.