True Pictures?

LaToya Ruby Frazier

October 30, 2021 – April 10, 2022



Social injustice, racism, labor migration, environ­mental pollution, economic decline of once prospe­rous indus­trial cities—these are some of the thematic focal points in the work of the American artist LaToya Ruby Frazier (b. 1982). She is currently one of the most important young photo­graphers in North America. In and with her work, Frazier takes sides with the predo­mi­nantly under­pri­vi­leged working class popula­tion of the United States, which is forced to live in at times preca­rious condi­tions due to, among other things, unemploy­ment, drinking water conta­mi­na­tion, or the dismant­ling of urban infra­st­ruc­tures. In the spirit of the film director and photo­gra­pher Gordon Parks, LaToya Ruby Frazier incre­a­singly uses her camera as a weapon against injustice, racism, intole­rance, and poverty. With the show on LaToya Ruby Frazier the Kunst­mu­seum Wolfsburg presents the first German solo exhibi­tion of the committed and multiple award-winning artist.

With her black-and-white photo­graphs, videos, and perfor­mances, LaToya Ruby Frazier focuses on familial and socio­po­li­tical realities that can at the same time claim general validity in terms of their thematic focus. She succeeds in presen­ting socially relevant themes in a parti­cu­larly empathetic way, often staging them on the basis of biogra­phical contexts: Her family and friends are thus repeatedly the subject of her photo­graphs. The spectrum of her motifs within the various series therefore extends from intimate glimpses of family life to genre scenes and landscape images that could almost be described as classical, were it not for the knowledge of the often economic and ecolo­gical disasters associated with the areas photographed.

The exhibi­tion True Pictures? LaToya Ruby Frazier is the contri­bu­tion of the Kunst­mu­seum Wolfsburg to the colla­bo­ra­tive project True Pictures? Contem­porary Photo­graphy from Canada and the USA. This compre­hen­sive survey of twentieth and twenty-first-century photo­graphy was initiated by the Sprengel Museum Hannover and takes place in coope­ra­tion with the Museum für Photo­gra­phie in Braun­schweig and the Kunst­mu­seum Wolfsburg. While the museums in Hannover and Braun­schweig each provide a broader overview, the Kunst­mu­seum Wolfsburg concen­trates on one outstan­ding photo­gra­phic position, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and presents this in greater detail with roughly 150 photo­graphs and selected videos. The three insti­tu­tions are organi­zing a joint suppor­ting program of lectures, as well as curator and artist discussions.


Andreas Beitin

Curato­rial Assis­tance
Dino Steinhof