An American multidisciplinary artist, Lyle Ashton Harris works in photographic media, collage, installation art and performance art. Through his work, he explores intersections between the personal and the political, examining the impact of ethnicity, gender, and desire on the social and cultural dynamic.
Harris was born in New York in 1965, Harris was raised in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He currently lives and works between New York and Accra, Ghana. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University, a Master of Fine Arts degree from the California Institute of the Arts, and attended the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. Harris has been widely exhibited internationally, including the venues such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich; the Haywood Gallery, London; Kunsthal KaDE, Amersfoort, NL; the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid. His work was included in the 52nd Venice Biennale (2007), the Busan Biennial, South Korea (2008), the Bienal de São Paulo (2016), the Whitney Biennial (2017), and presented by Cinéma Du Réel at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2018).
Harris is best known for his self-portraits and perception-bending reinterpretations of the legacies of iconic cultural figures that tackle the historical objectification of the black figure in Western culture. He often stages identity as an improvisation or performance.
Featured image: Lyle Ashton Harris – Untitled (detail). 29 3/4 × 22 in. 75.6 × 55.9 cm. This is part of a limited edition set. Photo courtesy Kavi Gupta Gallery