Tag Archives: 34th Bienal de São Paulo—Though It’s Dark Still I Sing


Deanna Lawson’s “meticulously staged yet profoundly intimate images of the sartorial styles, quotidian habits, and domestic interiors of the African diaspora in her native United States, Brazil, and beyond” are now on view in Basel.*

One of my first visual influences… was the idea of a family album… In my portrait work, I am creating more formal stages, a theater of the family snapshot…

I think that there is definitely something tragic in the family photograph—it’s a fundamentally retroactive idea. We make the image specifically to look back on it, to refer to it later in life. Even in my old family albums, the process of aging—the space between them and now—can be haunting and unstable. How to deal with the idea of projected time in a static medium is an interesting challenge. While the work is by no means autobiographical, its impulses are born from personal experiences. It references people I knew and had relationship with. — Deana Lawson

DEANA LAWSON—CENTROPY is co-produced with the Fundação Bienal de São Paulo as part of the 34th Bienal de São Paulo—Though It’s Dark, Still I Sing. The curatorial team includes Jacopo Crivelli Visconti, Paulo Miyada, Carla Zaccagnini, Francesco Stocchi, and Ruth Estévez.


Through October 11.

Kunsthalle Basel

Steinenberg 7, Basel.

Deana Lawson, Centropy, Kunsthalle Basel, June 9, 2020–October 11, 2020, from top: Daenare, 2019; Chief, 2019; installation view of Latifah’s Wedding, 2020 (left), and Vera, 2020; installation views of Boom Box Hologram (working title), 2020, and Fragment (church) (working title), 2020; ; installation view and detail of House of My Deceased Lover, 2019 (2); installation view of Niagara Falls, 2018 (left), and Taneisha’s Gravity, 2019; installation view of Fragment (Jacqueline and Taneisha) (working title), 2020; An Ode to Yemaya, 2019. Installation photographs by Philipp Hänger. Images courtesy and © the artist, Kunsthalle Basel, and Sikkema Jenkins & Co.