Whether he’s working on the street or in his studio, Dawoud Bey has earned the art world’s attention for striking portraits that capture the self-awareness and contemplative nature of his subjects. Bey first raised eyebrows as a budding young photographer with his acclaimed series Harlem U.S.A., exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1979. “Dawoud Bey: Picturing People,” on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125th St., North Miami), marks a major career survey for the Chicago-based lensman and includes his trademark soulful pictures of ordinary folks from all walks of life in contemporary society. The upward of 50 images displayed in his sprawling exhibit demonstrate the evolution of his career through the past three decades, during which Bey, with remarkable humanism, focused his camera on African-American subjects. In the critically hailed traveling show, organized by the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Bey takes viewers on a journey across time, ranging from candid, inner-city street encounters during the ’70s and ’80s to his fragmented studio portraits of the ’90s and his recent psychological studies of teenagers in America’s classrooms.
June 7-Sept. 8, 2013
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