NEW YORK, NY.- Bruce Silverstein
announced exclusive representation of The Louis H. Draper Preservation Trust. Draper (1935-2002) was both a well-regarded photographer and educator whose career, spanning nearly fifty years, took him from the East coast to Senegal. One of the artist's most notable achievements was co-founding The Kamoinge Workshop in 1960, a community of civic-minded Black photographers based in New York City. Kamoinge, translating to "group effort" from the language of the Kikuyu people of Kenya, encompassed a collective of artists whose work portrayed global African-American and African communities as having agency rather than being victimized by social and political oppression. Their wide ranging photographic practices speaks to the deeply textured experiences of people of color, and those reverberations continue today.
Born in Virginia in 1935, Draper moved to Harlem, New York in 1957 where he enrolled at the New York Institute of Photography, studying under W. Eugene Smith. Coming of age in the South, and living in New York City during the Civil Rights movement greatly impacted not only Draper's politics, but also the kinds of images he created, and how they served as their own form of resistance.
During his lifetime Draper had solo exhibitions at Image Gallery, New York and The Photo Workshop Center for Photography, New Jersey. The Kamoinge Workshop will be the subject of an upcoming exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in February 2020, which will then travel to the Whitney Museum of American Art. Work from The Workshop has also been exhibited at the International Center of Photography, New York; George Eastman Museum, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Studio Museum, Harlem, New York; The New York Public Library, and Harvard University among other institutions.
Draper's work is held in several public collections, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; George Eastman Museum, New York; Afro-American Museum of Art and Culture, Chicago; and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at The New York Public Library, New York.
The artist's work will be the subject of True Grace, an upcoming solo exhibition at Bruce Silverstein opening January 9, 2020.