Carrie Mae Weems - Photographs London Wednesday, November 1, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    P.P.O.W Gallery, New York, 1996

  • Exhibited

    Carrie Mae Weems, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C., 7 January - 21 March 1993; The Forum, St. Louis, Missouri, 9 April - 15 May 1993; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California, 9 June - 4 August 1993; Center for the Fine Arts, Miami, 28 August - 7 November 1993; California Afro-American Museum, Los Angeles, 8 December 1993 - 28 February 1994; Portland Art Museum, Oregon, 23 March - 22 May 1994; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 23 July - 2 October 1994; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, 28 October 1994 - 8 January 1995; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, 3 February - 2 April 1995
    Carrie Mae Weems: The Kitchen Table Series, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, 2 March - 28 April 1996
    Carrie Mae Weems: Social Studies, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, Spain, 20 May - 19 September 2010
    Carrie Mae Weems: Kitchen Table Series, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 17 May - 5 June 2011
    Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, 21 September 2012 - 13 January 2013; Portland Art Museum, Portland, 2 February - 19 May 2013; Cleveland Museum of Art, Clevland, 30 June - 29 September 2013; Cantor Center for Visual Arts, Stanford University, Stanford, 16 October 2013 - 5 January 2014; Guggenheim Museum, New York, 24 January - 14 May 2014
    For another

  • Literature

    B. Topping, ed., Carrie Mae Weems, Washington, D.C.: The National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1993, p. 79, pl. 31
    K. E. Delmez, ed., Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photograph and Video, Nashville: Frist Center for the Visual Arts, 2012, pl. 6.16
    Carrie Mae Weems: Kitchen Table Series, Bologna: Damiani, 2016, cover, detail and p. 52

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘I realised at a certain moment that I could not count on white men to construct images of myself that I would find appealing or useful or meaningful or complex.’
    Carrie Mae Weems

    A woman and daughter sit at the kitchen table. The woman looks into her vanity mirror as she applies lipstick; the daughter copies her mother’s pose with her own mirror and lipstick. Although they are not looking at each other, they are synchronised in a shared act. In this seemingly intimate moment between mother and daughter, the woman is, in effect, teaching her daughter the gestures of femininity. When Carrie Mae Weems’s seminal Kitchen Table Series was published for the first time as a stand-alone book in 2016, decades after the completion of the series, it was this poignant image Untitled (Woman and daughter with makeup) that was chosen for the front cover.

    In 1990, Kitchen Table Series was one of the first photographic series to place an African-American woman as its protagonist. For this body of work, Weems photographed herself and others at the kitchen table in her own apartment in Northampton, Massachusetts. Contrary to autobiographical self-portraits, her intention was to use her own body to represent all women. ‘She’s a character,’ Weems explains, ‘I use my body as a stand-in, but I never think of it as being about me. Rather, the character helps to reveal something that is more complicated about the lives of women.’ The story of a woman’s relationship with her friends, her lover, her children and herself as told through Weems’s timeless black-and-white photographs is ‘universal at its core’ and is as current today as it was when she first created them.

    For more than three decades, Weems has explored the complexities of the African-American experience through photography, video and performance. In 2013, Weems was awarded a MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant, and her solo exhibition Carrie Mae Weems: Three Decades of Photography and Video (2014), was the first retrospective of an African-American woman at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. She has also exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville; and Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston. Her work is held in many prominent institutions, including Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.



Untitled (Woman and daughter with makeup) from Kitchen Table Series

Gelatin silver print, mounted to board.
Image: 68.5 x 68.5 cm (26 7/8 x 26 7/8 in.)
Frame: 71.2 x 71 cm (28 x 27 7/8 in.)

Signed, dated and numbered 3/5 in pencil on the reverse of the mount.

This work is number 3 from the sold-out edition of 5 + 2 AP. This image exists only in this size and edition. The Art Institute of Chicago and the Hood Museum, Dartmouth College, hold other prints of this image.

£25,000 - 35,000 

Sold for £40,000

Contact Specialist
Genevieve Janvrin
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7901 7996

Yuka Yamaji
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7318 4098


London Auction 2 November 2017