Artist on Artist: Lyle Ashton Harris and Renee Cox

Artist Renee Cox dressed in armor

May 9, 2023, 7 p.m.
Virtual Program

Join Lyle Ashton Harris and Renee Cox for a virtual program held in conjunction with the exhibition Lyle Ashton Harris: Our first and last love. Friends and sometimes collaborators Lyle Ashton Harris and Renee Cox became prominent in the 1990s with provocative work which invites controversy, challenging and subverting white patriarchal supremacy.

Harris and Cox will highlight their 1994 collaboration, Venus Hottentot 2000, which transforms the tragic and exploited figure of Saartjie Baartman, also known as the Hottentot Venus, into a mighty woman warrior. In addition, both artists will discuss their distinct artistic practice and their mutual use of performative self-portraiture to explore Black identity, sexuality, and gender.

Dr. Gannit Ankori, Henry and Lois Director and Chief Curator and Brandeis Professor of Fine Arts and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies will moderate this virtual conversation.




Artist on Artist: Lyle Ashton Harris and Renee Cox, 2023. Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University.



Renee Cox (b. 1960, Colgate, Jamaica) is an artist known for her provocative photographs and videos that use her nude and clothed body to celebrate black womanhood and criticize a society she often views as racist and sexist. Cox worked as a fashion photographer in Paris and then in New York. In the early 1990s, Cox received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts and later participated in the Whitney Independent Study program. Rudy Giuliani famously criticized her for the alleged profanity of her work Yo Mama’s Last Supper (2001). Cox’s work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, New York; New Museum, New York; and Perez Art Museum, Miami. Her work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.

Lyle Ashton Harris (b. 1965, Bronx, N.Y.) has cultivated a diverse artistic practice ranging from photography and collage to installation and performance art. His work explores intersections between the personal and the political, examining the impact of ethnicity, gender, and desire on the contemporary social and cultural dynamic. Harris’s work is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; the Hessel Museum of Art at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Tate, London, UK; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain; Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Switzerland, among others. Harris is a Professor of Art at New York University and lives in New York.