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2014 Driskell Prize Winner: Lyle Ashton Harris

Lyle Ashton Harris headshotFor more than two decades, Lyle Ashton Harris has cultivated a diverse artistic practice ranging from photographic media and collage to installation and performance. His work explores intersections between the personal and the political, examining the impact of ethnicity, gender and desire on the contemporary social and cultural dynamic.

Known for his self-portraits and use of pop culture icons (such as Billie Holiday and Michael Jackson), Harris teases the viewers’ perceptions and expectations, recalibrating the familiar with the extraordinary. Harris’ works were previously on view in the Atlanta metro area in his spring 2013 exhibition Accra My Loveat Kennesaw State University’s Zuckerman Museum of Art.

Based in New York City, Harris is an associate professor at New York University and has exhibited his work internationally, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the 52nd Venice Biennale.

Harris’ work has been acquired by major international museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Fine Arts Boston; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, among many others. His commissioned work has been featured in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker.

Born in New York City, Harris spent his formative years in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. He received his bachelor of arts with honors from Wesleyan University in 1988 and a masters in fine arts from the California Institute of the Arts in 1990. He recently joined the board of trustees of the American Academy in Rome.

Harris is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the 2016 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the 2009 Goddard Award, the 2009 American Photography Award, the 2001 Rome Prize Fellowship, and the 1991 National Endowment for the Arts Regional Fellowship for the Visual Arts, among others.


Learn more about the David C. Driskell Prize and other previous winners.