ICA/Boston will present a series of intimate and conversational talks in conjunction with Deana Lawson, the first museum survey dedicated to the work of this important artist. Drawing on a wide spectrum of photographic languages, including the family album, studio portraiture, staged tableaux, and appropriated images, Lawson’s highly staged, large-format color photographs depict individuals, couples, and groups in both domestic and public settings, constructing narratives of family, love, intimacy, and desire. Rather than creating documentary or biographical pictures, Lawson makes images that tell stories to reclaim an expansive Black experience. This series of dialogues offers audiences an invitation to delve deeper into Lawson’s practice and the artist’s unique approach to her craft. Each conversation will explore Lawson’s work within a longer history of photography, frames of representation, and Black visual cultures.

This conversation is available to watch here:






Gloria Sutton is Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History and affiliated faculty in the Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies program at Northeastern University. Sutton publishes widely on the intersection of contemporary art and image technologies using an intersectional lens to examine how computational networks have informed the reception of visual art since the 1960s. A French translation of her book, The Experience Machine: Stan VanDerBeek’s Movie-Drome and Expanded Cinema (MIT Press) will be published in 2022. Her criticism has recently appeared in Architectural ReviewBOMB Magazine, Woman’s Art Journal, and X-TRA. Currently, Sutton serves on the editorial board of Signs Journal of Women in Culture and Society and Bloomsbury Press’s Series on Critical Media Aesthetics. Sutton is a research affiliate in the Art Culture Technology Program at MIT, a member of the MIT List Visual Arts Center Advisory Committee and serves on the Board of Directors of Voices in Contemporary Art (VoCA). 

Eva Respini is Barbara Lee Chief Curator at the ICA/Boston and has been leading the vision of the program since 2015. Prior to the ICA, Respini was Curator at the Museum of Modern Art where she organized numerous exhibitions of contemporary art and photography. Respini is the co-commissioner of the U.S. Pavilion’s historic Simone Leigh presentation for the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022. Co-curator of the first museum survey on Deana Lawson, Respini is currently working on the first museum survey exhibition of Simone Leigh, scheduled for 2023 at the ICA. She has served as visiting lecturer, critic, and speaker at a number of universities and teaches a seminar on curatorial practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. A frequent contributor to magazines and journals on contemporary art and photography, Respini has published numerous books and catalogues, her most recent being the Deana Lawson exhibition catalogue. 

December 2, 2022, 6–7 PM
Gloria Sutton, Associate Professor of Contemporary Art History, Northeastern University, and Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, ICA/Boston
Streaming virtually

January 20, 2022, 6–7 PM
Deborah Willis, University Professor and Chair of the Department of Photography & Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, and Oluremi Onabanjo, Associate Curator in the Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art
Streaming virtually

February 10, 2022, 7 PM
The Artist’s Voice: Deana Lawson with Tina Campt, Owen F. Walker Professor of Humanities and Modern Culture and Media at Brown University 
On-site program 


Deana Lawson is co-organized by ICA/Boston and MoMA PS1. Organized by Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, ICA/Boston, and Peter Eleey, Curator-at-Large, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing and Shanghai, with Anni Pullagura, Curatorial Assistant, ICA/Boston.

Major support for Deana Lawson is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Additional support for the ICA/Boston presentation is generously provided by Bridgitt and Bruce Evans, Aedie McEvoy, Kambiz and Nazgol Shahbazi, Kim Sinatra, Charlotte and Herbert S. Wagner III, and the Fotene Demoulas Fund for Curatorial Research and Publications, the Jennifer Epstein Fund for Women Artists, and The Kristen and The Kent Lucken Fund for Photography.