Dawoud Bey (b. 1953, New York, NY) began his career as an artist in 1975 with a series of photographs, “Harlem, USA,” that were later exhibited in his first one-person exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1979. He has since had numerous exhibitions worldwide, at such institutions as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Barbican Centre in London, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA, the National Portrait Gallery in London, and the Whitney Museum of American Art among many others. The Walker Art Center organized a mid-career survey of his work, “Dawoud Bey: Portraits 1975-1995,” that traveled to institutions throughout the United States and Europe. The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago organized a survey exhibition in 2012 “Dawoud Bey: Picturing People” that traveled to museums in the United States.
In addition to numerous solo exhibitions at museums and galleries worldwide, Bey’s works are included in the permanent collections of numerous museums, both in the United States and abroad, including the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Brooklyn Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, the Guggenheim Museum, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and other museums world wide.
Bey has been honored with numerous fellowships and honors over the course of his long career, including the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts . He is a 2015 United States Artist Guthman Fellow.
His critical writings have appeared in publications throughout Europe and the United States, including High Times Hard Times: New York Painting, 1967- 1975, The Van DerZee Studio , and David Hammons: Been There Done That. He has curated a wide range of exhibitions at museums and institutions as well, including the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, Weatherspoon Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Wadsworth Atheneum, GASP (Gallery Artists Studio Projects) and the Hyde Park Art Center. In 2018 a major forty-year retrospective monograph, Dawoud Bey: Seeing Deeply, will be published by the University of Texas Press.
Dawoud Bey holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University School of Art and is currently Professor of Art and a former Distinguished College Artist at Columbia College Chicago, where he has taught since 1998.