Galerie Nathalie Obadia is pleased to welcome the first exhibition in France of the American artist Lyle Ashton Harris. Born in 1965. Lyle Ashton Harris is a graduate of Wesleyan University, the Californian Institute of Arts and was awarded a scholarship from the Whitney Museum. Lyle Ashton Harris has shown in numerous museums including recently at the Guggenheim in New York, the Kunsthallle in Basel and the ICA in London.

Lyle Ashton Harris uses Polaroid photography. In these works, he always stages himself, cross-dressing and referring, in most of his series, to mythical characters of black culture, often African-American, such as Billie Holiday, Josephine Baker, Grace Jones, but also boxers...
In a series entitled "Better Days", Lyle Ashton Harris stages himself in a setting that is reminiscent of the sources of Primitivism that so inspired European artists like Derain and Picasso.
In recent years, Lyle Ashton Harris has developed a technical process that combines color in negative and black and white in positive. This cross process produces very deep shadows of a very bright chocolate-brown color from which the figure emerges. This atmosphere is reminiscent of old-fashioned photography, where the artist's gesture is more important than the technique.
The shot arrives at a very precise and intense moment decided by the artist, both subject and technician of the work, who presses the shutter.
Very often the feeling expressed by the figure is close to rage, to passion as a liberating expression. The look of the character gives a very physical attitude accentuated by the choice of characters like boxers or Josephine Baker.
Beyond the aesthetic quality of Lyle Ashton Harris' photographs, one can also discern a representation of suffering, struggle and victory of a minority that has sought to find its place in America, helped at the beginning by extraordinary personalities seen as cultural activists.

A catalog with an essay by Anna Deavere Smith published by Gregory Miller & Company is available.