The Living Room, Guanyu Xu
Past Exhibitions

Contemporary Photography Exhibition IX

December 12, 2019 – February 22, 2020
Main Gallery

Sasha Phyars-Burgess and Guanyu Xu are the winning artists of the ninth annual Contemporary Photography Competition and Exhibition.

Phyars-Burgess will present UNTITLED PART II & III (WE ALL HAVE TO MAKE COMPROMISES), a multimedia series that explores the cultural connotations and markers that come with looking at bodies, particularly black bodies. She images the domestic, the unsupervised, and the ordinary to show the reality of lives that are often lived under state and social oppression and surveillance.

For his series Parallel Rooms, Xu photographs complex installations that he situates secretly and temporarily in his parents’ home in Beijing, China. He positions and layers portraits of himself and other gay men, photographs of landscape and built environment taken in the United States, Europe, and China; and torn pages from the film and fashion magazines he collected as a teenager. Through these installations, he claims the conservative home where he came of age as a queer space of freedom and temporary protest.

This year’s competition was judged by Dan Leers, the Curator of Photography at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Artist Bios

Sasha Phyars-Burgess was born in 1988 in Brooklyn, New York to Trinidadian parents, and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She is Black. She is a Scorpio. She is Alive.

徐冠宇 Guanyu Xu (b.1993 Beijing) is an artist currently based in Chicago. He was the recipient of the Fred Endsley Memorial Fellowship and the James Weinstein Memorial Fellowship. He is the winner of the Lenscratch Student Prize and the Runner-up of the Aperture Foundation Portfolio Prize. His works have been exhibited internationally in institutions including the Aperture Foundation, New York; ICP Museum, New York; Athens Photo Festival, Greece; Format Photo Festival, UK; The Union League Club of Chicago, Chicago; Mint Museum, Charlotte, and others. His works have been featured in publications including The New Yorker, W Magazine, Aint-Bad Magazine, Musée Magazine, Der Greif, and China Photographic Publishing House.

About the Juror

Dan Leers is the Curator of Photography at the Carnegie Museum of Art. His exhibition and book William Henry Fox Talbot and the Promise of Photography came out in November 2017, and his most recent show, Forum: Deana Lawson appeared at the museum in the spring of 2018. From 2007 to 2011, Leers was the Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow in the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. At MoMA, he organized the exhibition New Photography 2011: Moyra Davey, George Georgiou, Deana Lawson, Doug Rickard, Viviane Sassen, Zhang Dali. As an independent curator, Leers worked on multiple exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad. He acted as a Curatorial Advisor on contemporary African art to the 2013 Venice Biennale. He also curated Beyond the Surface: Image as Object and 3 Themes: Contemporary Connections with Paul Strand at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center in 2014-15. He has contributed to many photography publications including Seydou Keïta [Paris: Editions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, 2016) and Guy Tillim: Of People and Their Places (Germany: Steidl, 2015).

These exhibitions are made possible with the generous support of the Honickman Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Exhibitions Calendar