LaToya Ruby Frazier - Photographs New York Tuesday, April 4, 2023 | Phillips

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  • “There has to be a deep empathy. There’s a need to be compassionate and [to] want to really, truly see someone’s humanity when they’re at their lowest.”
    —Latoya Ruby Frazier


    Latoya Ruby Frazier’s The Notion of Family is a multi-generational photo documentary project which she embarked on with her mother and grandmother in 2001. Motivated by the disintegration of her hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania and its impact on the lives of black middle-class communities, Frazier focused her lens on the people and places closest to her. Inspired by photographers such as Gordon Parks and Dorothea Lange, Frazier’s photographs capture the humanity of her subjects while examining the role of social structures in determining their livelihoods. While deeply personal in its depiction of intimate relationships and familial possessions, as in the current portrait of the artist and her mother, her work also addresses themes of racism, industrialization, justice and healthcare; topics that are at once specific and universal.


    Since its debut in 2009, The Notion of Family has been widely exhibited with exhibitions in Miami, Atlanta, Paris, Charlottesville, and Pittsburgh. The book, published by Aperture in 2015, received the International Center for Photography’s Infinity Award. Another print of this image is in the collection of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. 

    • Provenance

      Galerie Michel Rein, Paris, 2012


Momme (floral comforter) from Notion of Family

Gelatin silver print, mounted.
15 x 19 1/4 in. (38.1 x 48.9 cm)
Number 4 from an edition of 8.

Full Cataloguing

$4,000 - 6,000 

Sold for $25,400

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 4 April 2023