High Yella Girl from Colored People

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  • Provenance

    Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis

  • Catalogue Essay

    Since her first photography course at The Studio Museum in Harlem at the age of twenty-one, Carrie Mae Weems has utilized photography, sculpture, text, audio, video, and installation to explore and re-contextualize cultural identity and relationships. In particular, she has harnessed the photographic medium’s power to help dispel cultural myths. Presented here is a portrait from her series Colored People, in which Weems paired brightly toned photographs with classifying labels. In doing so, Weems underscores the restrictive and outdated social values assigned to skin tones and labels – proudly reclaiming them with their new colorful iterations.

    Similarly, in her American Icons series (lot 62), Weems highlights the pervasiveness of racism in contemporary society. By confronting viewers with objects and images that continue to have a cultural presence, Weems highlights the existing attitudes relating to race that are perpetuated through these seemingly innocuous objects.

    Weems’ powerful work is in 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; and The Tate Modern, London.

64

Property from a Private West Coast Collection

High Yella Girl from Colored People

1988-1989
Toned gelatin silver print with Prestype and frame, printed 1997.
13 3/8 x 14 3/4 in. (34 x 37.5 cm)
Overall 29 1/2 x 29 1/2 in. (74.9 x 74.9 cm)

Signed, dated and numbered 'AP 2/2' in ink on the verso. One from an edition of 5 plus 2 artist's proofs.

Estimate
$25,000 - 35,000 

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Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairman, Americas

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Photographs

New York Auction 4 April 2019