Lyle Ashton Harris Our first and last love

02.09.2023–09.22.2024
Lyle Ashton Harris | Our first and last love
Nasher Museum of Art, Rose Art Museum, Queens Museum

Drawing together photographs and installations from both his celebrated and lesser-known series, Lyle Ashton Harris: Our first and last love charts new connections across the artistic practice of Lyle Ashton Harris

Installation Views

Artwork

Drawing together photographs and installations from both his celebrated and lesser-known series, Lyle Ashton Harris: Our first and last love charts new connections across the artistic practice of Lyle Ashton Harris (b. 1965, Bronx, NY). His first solo presentation in New England in more than two decades, the exhibition explores Harris’s critical examination of identity and self-portraiture while tracing central themes and formal approaches in his work of the last 35 years.The artist’s recently-completed Shadow Works anchor the exhibition. In these meticulous constructions, photographic prints are set within geometric frames of stretched Ghanaian funerary textiles, along with shells, shards of pottery, and cuttings of the artist’s own hair. Our first and last love follows the cues of the Shadow Works’ collaged and pictured elements—which include earlier artworks and reference materials, personal snapshots, and handwritten notes—to shed light on Harris’s layered approach to his practice.Harris’s work engages with broad social and political dialogues while also speaking with revelatory tenderness to his own communities, and to personal struggles, sorrows, and self-illuminations. Groupings centered around singular Shadow Works will expand upon these multiple throughlines, including Harris’s continued examination of otherness and belonging; the framing and self-presentation of Black and queer individuals; violence as a dark undercurrent of intimacy and desire; tenderness and vulnerability; and notions of legacy—both inherited and self-defined.

The exhibition began its tour at the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, from February 9 - July 2, 2023. It then traveled to the Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, NC, from August 24, 2023 - January 7, 2024. The exhibition is currently on view at the Queens Museum, NY from May 19 - September 22, 2024.

Press

07.18.2024
Photographer Lyle Ashton Harris On Costumes, Contemporary Africa and the Cardinality of Self Love
Dan Duray

Observer

06.08.2024
Lyle Ashton Harris's Scrapbook of the Self
Vince Aletti

The New Yorker

06.07.2024
A Photographer Widens His Gaze to Loss, and It’s a Gain
Holland Cotter

The New York Times

06.03.2024
Lyle Ashton Harris: Our First and Last Love | Queens Museum
Aundréa Verdi

Musée Magazine

05.30.2024
June 2024 exhibitions: Art shows to leave the house for this month
Ashleigh Kane

Dazed

05.20.2024
“What Does It Mean to Have Survived?”: Lyle Ashton Harris, in Conversation With Ryan McGinley
Ryan McGinley

Interview Magazine

04.01.2023
Lyle Ashton Harris: Our first and last love
Leah Triplett Harrington

The Brooklyn Rail