Tampa Museum of Art presents 40 years of groundbreaking photographs by Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems

Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue is presented at the Tampa Museum of Art, bringing together 40 years of work by Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems.

A 40-year retrospective by two of today’s most influential photographic artists, Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems, is on view at the Tampa Museum of Art (TMA) through Sunday, October 23 for the first leg of a tour national. Organized by the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) and sponsored by Bank of America, Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: in dialogue is the first exhibition to bring together their work exclusively.

“We are thrilled to partner with GRAM to bring such a historically significant exhibit to Florida,” said Michael Tomor, executive director of Penny and Jeff Vinik at TMA.

GRAM Chief Curator Ron Platt said, “Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems have always sought to create works of art that expand the way we think about the world. Both artists were united in their commitment to amplifying authentic black experiences and images, recognizing that these important perspectives and ideas were overlooked and sorely lacking in photography.

Both born in 1953, Bey and Weems found motivation for their art in the changing American social landscape of their youth. Since meeting in a photography class taught by Bey at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1976, they have been intellectual colleagues and close friends, each exploring similar themes of race, class, representation and systems of power throughout their careers.

“Carrie Mae Weems and I have had a personal conversation for over 40 years,” Bey said. “We both see ourselves in conversation with history, both broadly and within the sphere of African American culture. We nurtured everyone’s burning desire to contribute meaningfully to the long history of black expressive excellence. Hopefully this exhibition [curated by] the Grand Rapids Museum of Art reveals that the conversation Carrie and I had both supported each other’s work and produced something of lasting meaning and value.

In dialogue combines the artists’ work into five sections that emphasize both their distinct artistic approaches and their shared interests and concerns: Early Work, Broadening the Scope, Resurrecting Black Histories, Memorial and Requiem, and Revelations in the Landscape. Also featured are videos of Bey and Weems showing their approaches to the moving photographic image as an extension of their series of still photographs.

For tickets and information, visit https://tampamuseum.org/ or call 813-274-8130. Located at 120 W. Gasparilla Plz. in Tampa, the Tampa Museum of Art is open Monday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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