“The Kitchen Table Series depicts the battle around the family . . . monogamy . . . and between the sexes.”
Carrie Mae Weems (United States) is the fourth artist at The Caribbean Housewife. We presented her ‘Kitchen Table Series’: the first publication dedicated solely to this early and important body of work by the American artist. The 20 photographs and 14 text panels that make up ‘Kitchen Table Series’, tell a story of one woman’s life, as conducted in the intimate setting of her kitchen. The kitchen, one of the primary spaces of domesticity and the traditional domain of women, frames her story, revealing to us her relationships—with lovers, children, friends—and her own sense of self, in her varying projections of strength, vulnerability, aloofness, tenderness, and solitude. Weems herself is the protagonist of the series, though the woman she depicts is an archetype. ‘Kitchen Table Series’ seeks to reposition and reimagine the possibility of women and the possibility of people of colour, and has to do with, in the artist’s words “unrequited love”.
Carrie Mae Weems is considered one of the most influential contemporary American artists. She has investigated family relationships, cultural identity, sexism, class, political systems, and the consequences of power. Determined as ever to enter the picture—both literally and metaphorically—Weems has sustained an on-going dialogue within contemporary discourse for over thirty years. During this time, Carrie Mae Weems has developed a complex body of art employing photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation, and video.
Weems has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at major national and international museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Frist Center for Visual Art, Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville, Spain.
Weems has received numerous awards, grants, and fellowships, including the prestigious Prix de Roma, The National Endowment of the Arts, The Alpert, The Anonymous was a Woman, and The Tiffany Awards. In 2012, Weems was presented with one of the first US Department of State’s Medals of Arts in recognition for her commitment to the State Department’s Art in Embassies program.
In 2013, Weems received the MacArthur “Genius” grant as well as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also received the BET Honors Visual Artist award, the Lucie Award for Fine Art photography, was one of four artists honored at the Guggenheim’s 2014 International Gala, a recipient of the ICP Spotlights Award from the International Center of Photography, The WEB Dubois Award from Harvard University, as well as Honorary Degrees from: California College of the Arts, Colgate University, Bowdoin College, the School of Visual Arts and Syracuse University.
She is represented in public and private collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and The Tate Modern, London.
Weems has been represented by Jack Shainman Gallery since 2008, and is currently Artist in Residence at the Park Avenue Armory. She lives in Syracuse, New York, with her husband Jeffrey Hoone who is Executive Director of Light Work.
The Caribbean Housewife was the first in Copenhagen, Denmark to present the ‘Kitchen Table Series’. The work was on show from the Opening Event on October 6, 2017 until March 21, 2018 and the publication sold out!
‘Kitchen Table Series’ by Carrie Mae Weems (1989-1990)
Publication by Damiani and Matsumoto Editions (2016)
Text by Sarah Lewis and Adrienne Edwards
Courtesy: Jack Shainman Gallery, New York