JCA Signature Series: LaToya Ruby Frazier
LaToya Ruby Frazier was born in 1982 in Braddock, Pennsylvania. Her artistic practice spans a range of media, including photography, video, performance, installation art and books, and centers on the nexus of social justice, cultural change, and commentary on the American experience. In various interconnected bodies of work, Frazier uses collaborative storytelling with the people who appear in her artwork to address topics of industrialism, Rust Belt revitalization, environmental justice, access to healthcare, access to clean water, Workers’ Rights, Human Rights, family, and communal history. This builds on her commitment to the legacy of 1930s social documentary work and 1960s and ’70s conceptual photography that address urgent social and political issues of everyday life.
Frazier’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions at institutions in the US and Europe, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Seattle Art Museum; The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; Contemporary Art Museum, Houston; Musée des Arts Contemporains, Grand-Hornu, Belgium; CAPC Musée d’Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, France; Carré d’Art – musée d’art contemporain de Nîmes, France; The Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh; The August Wilson Center, Pittsburgh; The Frost Art Museum, Miami; The Musée d’art Moderne, Luxembourg; and The Newcomb Museum at Tulane University, New Orleans.
In 2015, her first book about how she, her mother and grandmother survived environmental racism in historic steel mill town Braddock Pennsylvania, The Notion of Family (Aperture, 2014) received the International Center for Photography Infinity Award. In 2017 Frazier published And From The Coaltips A Tree Will Rise which expanded on her collaboration with a historic coalmining village in Borinage Belgium at Musée des Arts Contemporains, Grand-Hornu, Belgium. In 2020 Frazier received the Kraszna-Krausz Photography Book Award for her eponymous book published by Mousse publishing and MUDAM Luxembourg, which expanded on her exhibition at Mudam Luxembourg Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean and that same year Frazier published The Last Cruze, which expanded upon a 2019 exhibition at the Renaissance Society about her collaboration with autoworkers in historic labor union UAW Local 1112 in Lordstown, OH. That same year, Frazier was named the inaugural recipient of the Gordon Parks Foundation/Steidl Book prize for her book Flint Is Family In Three Acts about how working-class families survived the man-made water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
Her work is held in numerous public collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem; Brooklyn Museum; The Bronx Museum of the Arts; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; The Baltimore Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Los Angeles; Seattle Art Museum; Dallas Art Museum; Art
Gallery of Ontario in Toronto; Nasher Museum of Art; Princeton Art Museum; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and many others.
Frazier is the recipient of many honors and awards including an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Edinboro University (2019); an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute (2017); fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s MacArthur Fellows Program (2015), TED Fellows (2015), and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2014); and the Gwendolyn Knight & Jacob Lawrence Prize from the Seattle Art Museum (2013). In 2015, the Allegheny County Council, Pennsylvania, awarded Frazier a Proclamation thanking her for “examining race, class, gender and citizenship in our society and inspiring a vision for the future that offers inclusion, equity and justice to all.”
LaToya Ruby Frazier is an Associate Professor of Photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she currently lives and works. She is represented by Gladstone Gallery in New York City and Brussels Belgium, and Sant’Andrea de Scaphis in Rome.
Masks are required to be worn by all patrons while in the venue.