Artist Bio / CV


For more than two decades Lyle Ashton Harris (born 1965, New York) has cultivated a diverse artistic practice ranging from photographic media, collage, installation and performance. His work explores intersections between the personal and the political, examining the impact of ethnicity, gender and desire on the contemporary social and cultural dynamic. Known for his self-portraits and use of pop culture icons (such as Billie Holiday and Michael Jackson), Harris teases the viewers’ perceptions and expectations, resignifying cultural cursors and recalibrating the familiar with the extraordinary. Harris has exhibited work widely, including at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York) and The Whitney Museum of American Art (New York) among many others, as well as at international biennials (São Paulo, 2016; Busan, 2008; Venice, 2007; Seville, 2006; Gwangju, 2000). His work is represented in the permanent collections of major museums, most recently The Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 2014 Harris joined the Board of Trustees of the American Academy in Rome and was recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize by the High Museum of Art (Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.). In 2016 he was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and was appointed a trustee of the Tiffany Foundation. Having studied at Wesleyan University, the California Institute of the Arts, and the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program, Harris is currently an Associate Professor of Art and Art Education at New York University.


Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, 1992
National Graduate Photography Seminar, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, 1991
Master of Fine Arts, California Institute of the Arts, 1990
Bachelor of Arts (with Honors), Wesleyan University, 1988


Academic Affiliations
Associate Professor, New York University (Joint Appointment), Department of Art and Art Professions, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development & Office of Global Education Programs
Core Critic, School of Art (Graduate Program), Yale University: 2008, 2010, 2011


Grant Awards & Fellowships
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, 2016
The David C. Driskell Prize, 2014
New York University Steinhardt Summer Research Fund: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
New York University Steinhardt Professional Development Fund: 2009, 2010
Goddard Award, 2009
American Photography Award, 2009
Society of Publication Designers Merit Award, 2009
Rome Prize Fellowship, 2001
Banff Art Center Residency Fellowship, 1996
Art Matters Grant: 1991, 1993, 1995
Brody Arts Fund Fellowship, 1992
National Endowment for the Arts Regional Fellowship for the Visual Arts, 1991


International Appointments
Board of Trustees, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, 2016-Present
Board of Trustees, The American Academy in Rome: 2014 – present
Director, Dei Centre for the Study of Contemporary African Art, Accra, Ghana: 2009 – 2012
Board of Directors, Art in Social Structures (AISS), Accra, Ghana: 2009 – present
Juror, Africa Pavilion, 52nd Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy, 2007
Guest Artist, Royal College, Stockholm, Sweden, 1996
Arts Consultant, Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta, Canada, 1996


Works in Public Collections
Duke University, Nasher Museum of Art
J.Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, New York
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Miami Art Museum
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Museum of Modern Art, New York
Princeton University Art Museum
The Progressive Corporation
The Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
The Studio Museum in Harlem
The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Wesleyan University, Davison Art Center



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