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The High’s Driskell Prize Goes to Lyle Ashton Harris

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Lyle Ashton Harris, Brotherhood, Crossroads and Etcetera #2 (in collaboration with Thomas Allen Harris), 1994.

The High Museum of Art has named Lyle Ashton Harris as the recipient of its tenth annual David C. Driskell Prize, given to an African American artist or art historian. He will be honored at the Driskell Prize Dinner in Atlanta on May 2, 2014, at 6:30 p.m

Harris became known in the early 1990s for shows at Jack Tilton Gallery of his large-scale images and self-portraits exploring issues of identity and homosexuality. He later began incorporating video, collage, and mixed media in installations. His photographic work often appears in the New York Times Magazine.

Born in New York City and raised in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Harris received his BA from Wesleyan University and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. He divides his time between New York and Ghana, where he teaches at New York University’s Global program and is director of the Dei Centre for the Study of African Art.

Works from his Ghana series were show in 2010 at CRG Gallery in New York, and in 2013 at Kennesaw State University. In 2011, the Studio Museum in Harlem mounted an exhibition of 22 of his “Chocolate Portraits,” featuring his artist friends and other figures such as Robert Storr, Kehinde Wiley, Shirin Neshat, and Al Sharpton.

Judges for the prize were Michael Rooks, the High’s modern and contemporary curator; Naomi Beckwith, curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, director of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art and recipient of the 2013 Driskell Prize.

Through June 15, the High is showing “A Decade of David C. Driskell,” with works by Driskell along with those by prize winners from the past 10 years, and acquisitions made with the Driskell acquisition fund, including such artist as Julie Mehretu, Rashid Johnson, and Norman Lewis.

Lyle Ashton Harris, Accra My Love, 2008.