Hank Willis Thomas


Gallery News for Hank Willis Thomas

Hank Willis Thomas edits book for the Question Campaign

To celebrate the recent release of the book Question Bridge: Black Males (Aperture/Campaign for Black Male Achievement, 2015), a number of campaign collaborators including coeditor Hank Willis Thomas and Rashid Shabazz, Vice President of Communications, Campaign for Black Male Achievement joined in a conversation on 7 December at the Aperture Gallery in New York to discuss art, collaboration, and the role of transmedia projects in socially engaged fine art. Moderated by editors Willis and Natasha L Logan, panelists shared their vision and process for creating an art installation with staying power, which eventually evolved into the Question Bridge publication. Question Bridge: Black Males is an innovative, transmedia project that aims to facilitate a dialog between black men from diverse and contending backgrounds and create a platform for representing and redefining black male identity. For Art Basel Miami Beach from 2 to 6 December Willis was part of a group of 27 artists who transformed Miami’s Collins Park with site-specific installations under the theme Metaforms, curated by Nicholas Baume, Director and Chief Curator of Public Art Fund.

Goodman Gallery at Art Basel Miami Beach

Goodman Gallery has the distinction of being one of the most established galleries representing the African continent at Art Basel Miami Beach 2015, which runs from 3 to 6 December. The selection traverses compelling re-articulations of space, place and power. Representations of race and conflict reveal our artists grappling with distinctly 21st Century dynamics. The human mark on the changing landscape, symbols of power and powerlessness, and the cost of conflict to lives make up a collection dealing with troubling contemporary dramas and consequential outlooks. Artists include Carla Busuttil, Nolan Oswald Dennis, Kendell Geers, David Goldblatt, Haroon Gunn-Salie, Alfredo Jaar, William Kentridge, Liza Lou, Gerhard Marx, Misheck Masamvu, Walter Oltmann, Gerald Machona, Hank Willis Thomas, Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse and Minnette Vári.

Hank Willis Thomas at Brown University

Hank Willis Thomas: Primary Sources brings together mixed media sculptures, retroreflective screenprints and a five-channel video installation of James Baldwin’s prescient social criticisms to explore the dynamic ways in which Thomas revisits historical narratives for the present. The work included in this exhibition communicates contemporary acts of protest mediated, as they always are, through the events of history. At the David Wynton Bell Gallery, Brown University, Rhode Island until 25 October.
Other works exhibited by Thomas include The Truth Is I see You, a series of comic book-inspired speech balloon signs that feature universal statements about truth in 22 of the many languages spoken in Brooklyn. The installation will visit sites in Brooklyn four times until June 2016. The exhibition To Be Young, Gifted and Black, curated by Thomas, is on show at Goodman Gallery Johannesburg until 11 November.

Goodman Gallery at the FNB Joburg Art Fair 2015

For the FNB Joburg Art Fair 2015, Goodman Gallery shares its focus with the fair on vigorous forms of experimental film and live performance. Goodman Gallery has collaborated with the Johannesburg Art Gallery and Artlogic to present Candice Breitz’s multi-channel video installation Him + Her – marking the inaugural presentation of this two-part work in a South African context. As the featured artist at the fair, Breitz will also present selected work from the series Portrait of an Artist – which has been developed especially for the event.
Nelisiwe Xaba will present a specially devised work for the fair’s performance platform. Titled The Urban Mermaid, Xaba’s performance takes its inspiration from the myth of the half-woman half-fish creature. According to the artist, in different contexts mermaids “are called different names: Mami Wata, Sirene, Mamlambo, Water Meisie and Madam Poisson. What is interesting is that the mermaid has different stories from different cities around the world… This gives an opportunity for one to create their own story or myth.”
Goodman Gallery also presents a curated selection of works with an emphasis on both recent achievements and iconic early work. Of note is a video work by Hank Willis Thomas titled Winter in America. Major practitioners to feature on the gallery booth include, Kudzanai Chiurai, Kendell Geers, David Goldblatt, William Kentridge, Liza Lou, Tracey Rose, Mikhael Subotzky, Hank Willis Thomas and Gerhard Marx. New orientations in Goodman Gallery’s growing stable include Nolan Oswald Dennis, Jabulani Dhlamini, Gabrielle Goliath, Misheck Masamvu, and Adejoke Tugbiyele.
The art fair runs from 11 to 13 September 2015 at the Sandton Convention Centre.

More news
  • 2014 to 2015: Punctum

    2012: Wayfarer series

    2011: Strange Fruit

    2009: 1969 Series

    2001-2011: Branded

    2008: Unbranded: Reflections in Black Corporate America 1968 - 2008

  • Solo exhibitions

    Hank Willis Thomas / History Doesn't Laugh / 2014

    Hank Willis Thomas / History Doesn't Laugh / 2014

    Hank Willis Thomas / All Things Being Equal... / 2010

    Group exhibitions

    Young, Gifted and Black / Curated by Hank Willis Thomas / 2015

    Edge of Silence / 2015

    Other People's Memories / 2015


    Advance/...Notice / 2012

    Eat Me / 2011

    In Other Words

    Winter Show / Joburg / 2010

    In Context / 2010

  • Biography

    Artist Statement

    Solo Exhibitions

    Group Exhibitions

    Curated Exhibitions

    Conference and Workshop Participation

    Awards and Merits



    Selected Articles and Reviews


    Download CV
  • Videos

  • Press for Hank Willis Thomas

    YGB / Hyperallergic / November 2015

    All Lives Are Black Lives by Carey Dunne (3 MB)

    Young Gifted and Black / Business Day BDLive / October 2015

    Gifted young artists explore blackness by Chris Thurman (46.5 KB)

    Young, Gifted and Black / City Press / October 2015

    To Be Young, Gifted and Black, by Garreth van Niekerk (1002.5 KB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / The New Yorker / New York / 13 August 2015

    Instagram’s Mark on Public Art BY ANTWAUN SARGENT (332 KB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / Architectural Digest / New York / 14 August 2015


    Hank Willis Thomas / Artnet.news / United States / 9 August 2015

    Hank Willis Thomas Speaks the Truth in 22 Languages By Sarah Cascone (3.2 MB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / The Boston Globe / Boston / 30 June 2015

    Hank Willis Thomas’s slick image masks a closed door By Sebastian Smee (167.6 KB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / Campaign / United kingdom / 6 July 2015

    What a decade of ads say about a woman's place by Marian Salzman (117 KB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / Art In America / New York / 3 June 2015

    Hank Willis Thomas By Jean Dykstra (271 KB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / Crave Online / Los Angeles / 18 May 2015

    What makes a white woman a white woman? By Ernest Hardy (1 MB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / The Brooklyn Rail / New York / May 2015

    In Conversation: Hank Willis Thomas with Allie Biswas By Allie Biswas (3 MB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / The Daily Beast / New York / 3 May 2015

    The Black Artist Who Thinks Race Is Fake By Emily Shire (950.3 KB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / International Center of Photography / New York / 30 April

    Interview with Hank Willis Thomas for question Bridge By Pauline Vermare (75.4 KB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / The Guardian / United Kingdom / 29 April 2015

    The truth about adverts: selling the White Woman By Arwa Mahdawi (2.1 MB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / Town and Country Magazine / New York / 20 April 2015

    101 Years of White Women in Ads by Kevin Conley (4.1 MB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / www.NPR.org / Washington D.C / 19 April 2015

    Wordless Ads Speak Volumes In 'Unbranded' Images Of Women By NPR Staff (498 KB)

    SP-Arte / Folha de S.Paulo / Brazil / 3 April 2015

    Equal in inequality, Brazil and South Africa lock dialogue in SP-Arte By Silas Marti (769.7 KB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / Huffpost Arts and Culture / United States / 9 April 2014

    How 100 Years Of Advertisements Created The 'White American Woman' By Huffpost Arts and Culture (5.3 MB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / Art News / New York / 7 April 2015

    'Advertising is fueled by prejudice': An hour with Hank Willis Thomas By M.H. Miller (528.3 KB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / Hyperallergic / Brooklyn / 20 March 2015

    Celebrating Photographers of Color and the Collectives That Have Nurtured Them by John Edwin Maso (5.7 MB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / Broadway World / United States / 27 February 2015

    Exhibition of Contemporary Art + Collection Opens 3/13 at Jewish Museum By Visual Arts News Desk (117 KB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / The Art News Paper / United Kingdom / 17 February 2015

    “Through a Lens Darkly” aims to show the hidden history of African American artists using the medium By Iain Millar (100.9 KB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / The Wall Street Journal / New York / 25 June 2014

    No Longer Empty's 'If You Build It' Opens at Harlem's Sugar Hill: Group Holds Exhibits In Places That Rarely See Contemporary Art by Jessica Dawson (377.5 KB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / Art South Africa / South Africa / Issue 4 / June 2014

    Hank Willis Thomas, History Doesn't Laugh by Thsolofelo Moche (596 KB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / Business Day Live / Johannesburg / 6 March 2014

    Series of new takes on old images suggests that context is the key by Chris Thurman ()

    Hank Willis Thomas / Mail & Guardian / Johannesburg / 4 March 2014

    'History Doesn't Laugh' For Hank Willis Thomas by Garreth Van Niekerk ()

    Hank Willis Thomas / Time Lightbox / United States / 19 April 2011

    Erasing Type: Hank Willis Thomas on What Advertisements are Really Saying by Time Photo Department (239 KB)

    Hank Willis Thomas / Wanted Magazine / South Africa / May 2010

    Flipping the Script by Nadine Rubin Nathan (5 MB)