May 28 – August 1, 2010
Organized collaboratively with Colgate University, this exhibition will present the stunning photographs of Moroccan-born, New York-based artist Lalla Essaydi. Essaydi creates richly textured, large-scale images of women in staged environments, often enlisting the participation of her own family members, which critique the visual cliches and stereotypes of western Orientalist paintings and colonialist photographs of the harem in the Islamic world. Self-taught in the elegant maghribi calligraphy of North Africa, Essaydi interjects script across these compositions. She covers her female subjects, as well as their clothing and furnishings, in texts that convey her own thoughts about being an Arab woman in the twenty-first century. Featured in this show are selections from several recent series that have garnered the artist international acclaim.
The exhibition appeared at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, March 8-May 16, before traveling to Richmond.