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Artists

Renee Cox

(b. 1960)

Consistently pushing the limits of the medium of photography, Renee Cox uses both archival photographs and new images to create new types of consciousness around the Black body.

Biography

Renee Cox is a Jamaican American artist, photographer, and activist whose work focuses on representations of Black women.

Born in Jamaica before her family relocated to New York, Cox says she was “always interested in the visual.”1 After earning her undergraduate degree, she worked as a professional fashion photographer and developed her own artistic practice in the 1990s. Her engagement with social issues—particularly those related to gender and race—has been apparent since that time: in her first solo exhibition, in 1998, at Cristinerose Gallery, she presented photographs of herself as a superhero leading a crusade to overturn stereotypes.



Cox’s larger-than-life photographs critique and repurpose stereotypical depictions of Black women. Her practice references historical artists, including Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, and Édouard Manet, to recreate the art historical canon and imagine new methods of representation. Her styles also evoke the work of James Van Der Zee and Gordon Parks. Many of her photographs reference biblical subject matter and pointedly insert people of color into these stories, thereby underscoring the importance of religion in many marginalized communities despite their lack of representation in its artistic depictions. Consistently pushing the limits of the medium, Cox uses both archival photographs and new images to create new types of consciousness around the Black body.



Cox received her BA from Syracuse University and MFA from the School of the Visual Arts. She participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program in 1992. She has received awards from organizations including the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, the National Gallery of Jamaica, and Creative Time. Her work first entered the Studio Museum’s collection in 2018.

Exhibitions and Events

Past Exhibitions and Events
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Artists

Renee Cox

(b. 1960)

Consistently pushing the limits of the medium of photography, Renee Cox uses both archival photographs and new images to create new types of consciousness around the Black body.

Eight artist proofs of unique select images from the Queen Nanny of the Maroon SeriesDigital inkjet print on smoother watercolor paper8 x 10 inchesThe Studio Museum in Harlem; bequest of Peggy Cooper Cafritz (1947-2018), Washington, D.C. collector, educator, and activist2018.40.65

Biography

Renee Cox is a Jamaican American artist, photographer, and activist whose work focuses on representations of Black women.

Born in Jamaica before her family relocated to New York, Cox says she was “always interested in the visual.”1 After earning her undergraduate degree, she worked as a professional fashion photographer and developed her own artistic practice in the 1990s. Her engagement with social issues—particularly those related to gender and race—has been apparent since that time: in her first solo exhibition, in 1998, at Cristinerose Gallery, she presented photographs of herself as a superhero leading a crusade to overturn stereotypes.



Cox’s larger-than-life photographs critique and repurpose stereotypical depictions of Black women. Her practice references historical artists, including Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, and Édouard Manet, to recreate the art historical canon and imagine new methods of representation. Her styles also evoke the work of James Van Der Zee and Gordon Parks. Many of her photographs reference biblical subject matter and pointedly insert people of color into these stories, thereby underscoring the importance of religion in many marginalized communities despite their lack of representation in its artistic depictions. Consistently pushing the limits of the medium, Cox uses both archival photographs and new images to create new types of consciousness around the Black body.



Cox received her BA from Syracuse University and MFA from the School of the Visual Arts. She participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program in 1992. She has received awards from organizations including the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, the National Gallery of Jamaica, and Creative Time. Her work first entered the Studio Museum’s collection in 2018.

Exhibitions and Events

Past Exhibitions and Events
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