Dawoud Bey: Picturing People

June 17 through October 5, 2014

The exhibition includes selections from Bey’s work spanning from 1982 to the present. The seven bodies of work that comprise the exhibition include: small camera street photographs (1981-1988); large format black and white street photographs (1988-1992); Polaroid 20x24 works (1991-1998); color street portraits (2000-2002); and selections from the series titled Class Pictures (2002-2006); Character Project (2008); and Strangers/Community (2010-present).

Bey’s small camera pictures focus on the spontaneous orchestration and choreography of human interactions within specific locations, and the fleeting social tensions embedded in them. His street portraits explore moments of consensual collaboration between the artist and the subjects, and speak to the possibility of formal portraits made in highly uniform spaces. Bey’s first Polaroid works mark the introduction of young people as the central subject, which is further developed in his Class Pictures and Character Project.

Bey’s most recent project, Stranger/Community, returns to a concerns with neighborhood and community. Bey pairs people who live in the same neighborhood, but who have never previously met and whose lives are unlikely to bring them into contact.

This exhibition is organized by The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, and made possible through generous support from the David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation and the Harper Court Arts Council.

Related Programs

All programs take place at the Beach Museum of Art and are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Gallery Walk: Picturing People
June 26, 2014, 5:30 p.m.
Join Beach Museum of Art curator Theresa Bembnister, Kansas State University assistant professor of photography Rebecca Bahlmann, and University of Kansas PhD candidate in the history of photography Jen Friess for an informal exploration of the exhibition.

Portrait Workshops - $5
August 5, 2014, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. (ages 6-10)
August 6, 2014, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. (ages 10-16)
Visit the exhibition and create photographic and drawn self-portraits. Contact 785-532-7718 or email klwalk@ksu.edu to register.

Reception with Dawoud Bey and Hamza Walker
September 4, 2014, 5:30 p.m.
Cash bar available

In Conversation: Dawoud Bey and Hamza Walker
September 4, 2014, 7 p.m., All Faiths Chapel, Kansas State University
Dawoud Bey, artist, curator, essayist, and Professor at Columbia College Chicago and Hamza Walker, Associate Curator and Director of Education at The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, come together to discuss the power of art, its potential as a means of social engagement, and unique aspects of the aesthetic research carried out by artists.

This artist conversation is funded by the Richard Coleman Beach Museum of Art Lecture Series, the K-State Libraries Dow Center for Multicultural and Community Studies, School of Leadership Studies and the Department of Art (funded in part by KSU SGA Fine Arts fee).

Image Credit: Dawoud Bey, Rudy Nimocks and Lindsay Atnip, Hyde Park, Chicago, 2012, pigment print