Deana Lawson, Dana and Sirius B, 2021. Pigment print, 127 x 154.2 cm. © Deana Lawson

Film directed by Deana Lawson with cinematography by Bradford Young now available on Guggenheim.org

An exhibition of recent photographs and holograms by artist Deana Lawson, winner of the 2020 Hugo Boss Prize, is on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum through October 11, 2021. One of the most influential artists of her generation, Lawson (b. 1979, Rochester, NY) creates images of Black diasporic identity that powerfully evoke the self-possession and divinity of her subjects. Lawson photographs individuals in staged domestic or natural settings, carefully choreographing the details of scenery, lighting, and pose. At once dreamlike and entrenched in the mundane, her works present an overarching vision of the human capacity for spiritual transcendence in the everyday. In 2020, Lawson became the first photographer to receive the Hugo Boss Prize, a biennial award that honors significant achievement in contemporary art.

On the occasion of the exhibition, Lawson has conceived a short film that expands upon the personal histories and conceptual structures that inflect the installation in the gallery. The twenty-minute film, also titled Centropy, is a meditative visual essay, encompassing interviews with individuals who have been formative to Lawson’s life and work, archival footage, and evocations of the artist’s process. It approaches from oblique angles topics including ancestral histories, Black ecologies, and the science of holography. Intended from the outset to be freely accessible to all audiences, Centropy is available on the museum’s website at guggenheim.org/centropy.

Centropy is a collaboration between Lawson and renowned cinematographer and Academy Award nominee Bradford Young, whose numerous credits include SelmaArrivalSolo: A Star Wars Story, and When They See Us. The film was produced by Nanette Nelms and Mishka Brown, who, alongside Young, Jenn Nkiru, and Terence Nance, form the filmmaking collective The Ummah Chroma. Centropy was executive produced by Ummah Chroma Creative Partners (UCCP), an independent production company and creative agency forged by The Ummah Chroma to create Black, art-forward cinema as mandated by their ancestors.

The Hugo Boss Prize and the exhibition are made possible by BOSS

Additional support for the film is provided by David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, and Sikkema Jenkins Gallery, New York.

Visitor Information

Through October 7, the Guggenheim will be installing two new exhibitions in the main rotunda space. During this time, the spiral ramp will be closed to visitors and general admission tickets are reduced to $10. Timed tickets are required and available at guggenheim.org/tickets. Explore the Guggenheim with our free Digital Guide, a part of the Bloomberg Connects app. Find it in the Apple App Store or in the Google Play Store.

The Guggenheim is implementing health and safety measures in consideration of visitors and employees. In compliance with the New York City mandate, all visitors over the age of 12 must show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination to enter the museum, and masks are required. Proof of vaccination may include a CDC Vaccination Card (or photo), NYC COVID Safe app, New York State Excelsior Pass, NYC Vaccination Record, or an official immunization record from outside New York City or the United States. Visitors over the age of 18 will also be asked to show a photo ID. These new policies are posted on COVID-19 Safety Measures: What to Expect When Visiting.