Through image & text, film, video, performance, and her many lectures, presentations, and culturally significant convenings with individuals across a multitude of disciplines, Carrie Mae Weems has created a complex body of work that centers on her overarching commitment to helping us better understand our present moment by examining our collective past. Determined as ever to enter the picture — both literally and metaphorically — Weems has sustained an on-going dialogue within contemporary discourse for over thirty-five years.
In a review of her groundbreaking 2014 Guggenheim retrospective for the New York Times, art critic Holland Cotter wrote, “Ms. Weems is what she has always been, a superb image maker and a moral force, focused and irrepressible.”
As one off the panelists at the 2016 Arts Summit at the Kennedy Center, the topic discussed was: How Can We Maximize Service in A Creative Life? In her own work, Weems has taken a stand against violence and the perpetuation of a failing system in her community with projects like Operation: Activate, an anti-violence public art campaign and the Institute of Sound and Style, a summer school program she established in 2012 in Syracuse, New York that pays students of lower incomes, ages 15-21, a stipend to learn skills for arts and fashion careers.
Her recent performance, Grace Notes: Reflections for Now combines text, video, & photography, along with music, spoken word and dance. The piece pays tribute to the Emanual 9, and to the many young black men who’ve lost their lives during this period of escalating violence more specifically, the performance considers the role of grace in the pursuit of democracy. Commissioned in 2016, Grace Notes premiered at the Spoleto Festival, has been presented at Yale University Theater, and will be presented in the fall of 2017 at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
Weems has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major national and international museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Frist Center for Visual Art, Nashville; The Cleveland Museum of Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville, Spain.
She is represented in public and private collections around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Weems has been represented by Jack Shainman Gallery since 2008 and is currently Artist in Residence at the Park Avenue Armory. She lives in Syracuse, New York with her husband Jeffrey Hoone, who is Executive Director of Light Work.