Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915–2015

  • Sep 3, 2016 – Dec 11, 2016
  • The Leah Louise B. Tannenbaum Gallery, The Louise D. and Herbert S. Falk, Sr. Gallery
Hank Willis Thomas, "Bounce back to normal, 1933/2015," 2015, digital
chromogenic print, dimensions variable. Inventory #HWT15.020. Courtesy
of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

Hank Willis Thomas: Falk Visiting Artist

In Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915–2015, artist Hank Willis Thomas reveals ways that corporate campaigns have both marketed products to white women and marketed those women as a feminine standard. By removing the texts from historic advertisements, he offers a visual chronology of white women’s perceived social roles, a history he describes as “a fascinating one step forward, two steps back.” Simultaneously, he highlights the complex ways in which popular notions of virtue and power, beauty and desire, race and gender have long been bound together.

In a previous project, Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America, 1968–2008, Thomas focused attention on media images of and for black consumers, especially black men. By expanding that project to address images of white women, he questions why our understandings of identities—male and female, black and white—are often shaped in opposition to one another.

Related programs

Artist Talk: Hank Willis Thomas • Thu Sep 15 @ 7pm  

Curator Talk: Media and Message - Appropriation in the Art of Social Activism • Fri Sep 23 @ 12:15pm

Noon @ the 'Spoon • Tue Oct 11 @ 12pm

As the Fall 2016 Falk Visiting Artist, Thomas will present a public lecture about his work and meet with graduate students in the UNCG Art Department.

The exhibition is organized by Dr. Emily Stamey, Curator of Exhibitions. Special thanks to Leah Sobsey, Visiting Assistant Professor of Photography and the 2015/16 Falk Visiting Artist Committee.

The exhibition and lecture are made possible in part by UNCG’s University Performing Arts Series, celebrating its 100th season; Fabric of Freedom, an arts program of the National Folk Festival; and the Humanities Working Groups for Community Impact Initiative, a project of the National Humanities Alliance Foundation supported by the Whiting Foundation.

This exhibition is a partner program included in the 2016 17 DAYS Greensboro Festival sponsored by ArtsGreensboro


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