Ming Smith: An Aperture Monograph


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ISBN: 9781597114820 Category:


Ming Smith’s poetic and experimental images are icons of twentieth-century African American life. One of the greatest artist-photographers working today, Smith moved to New York in the 1970s and began to make images charged with startling beauty and spiritual energy. This long-awaited monograph brings together four decades of Smith’s work, celebrating her trademark lyricism, distinctively blurred silhouettes, dynamic street scenes, and deep devotion to theater, music, poetry, and dance-from the “Pittsburgh Cycle” plays of August Wilson to the Afrofuturism of Sun Ra. With never-before-seen images, and a range of illuminating essays and interviews, this tribute to Smith’s singular vision promises to be an enduring contribution to the history of American photography.

Copublished by Aperture and Documentary Arts

Additional information

Weight 1504 g
Dimensions 25.4 x 30 cm
Publisher name Aperture Foundation
Publication date 1 February 2021
Number of pages 236
Format Hardback
Contributors Photographs by Ming Smith, Preface by Alan Govenar, of Documentary Arts, Text by Namwali Serpell, Janet Hill Talbert, and Emmanuel Iduma
Dimensions 25.4 x 30 cm
Weight 1504 g


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Ming Smith's (born in Detroit) poetic, often experimental photographic meditations have been shown at major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, and the Schomburg Center, New York; the Brooklyn Museum; and the Serpentine Galleries and Tate Modern, London.

Emmanuel Iduma is an art critic and author of A Stranger's Pose (2018).

Arthur Jafa is an artist, cinematographer, and recipient of the 2019 Venice Biennale Golden Lion award.

M. Neelika Jayawardane is a professor and researcher. Her work has appeared in Aperture and Frieze, and she is a founding member of Africa Is a Country.

Yxta Maya Murray is professor of law at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and author of the forthcoming novel Art Is Everything.

Hans Ulrich Obrist is artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries in London, author of The Interview Project, and coeditor of Cahiers d'Art.

Namwali Serpell is a novelist, critic, professor, and author of The Old Drift (2019).

Janet Hill Talbert is a jewelry designer, former book editor, and founder of the African American book imprint Harlem Moon.

Greg Tate is an author and musician. He has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, and Artforum, among other publications.