In 1996, the High began commissioning photographers from across the world to engage with and explore the American South’s rich social and geographic landscape for its Picturing the South initiative. To date, the Museum has commissioned sixteen artists and has built a collection of more than two hundred fifty photographs as part of the program, which include some of the most iconic photography projects of the last quarter century.
To mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of Picturing the South, the High will mount a major exhibition that brings together all the commissions for the first time. Taken as a whole, the photographs amount to a complex and layered archive of the region that addresses broad themes, from the legacy of slavery and racial justice to the social implications of the evolving landscape and the distinct and diverse character of the region’s people.
Works on view will include the first photographs in Sally Mann’s Motherland series; Dawoud Bey’s over-life-size portraits of Atlanta high school students; Richard Misrach’s Cancer Alley industrial landscapes; along with previous commissions by Alex Webb, Emmet Gowin, Alec Soth, Martin Parr, Kael Alford, Shane Lavalette, Abelardo Morell, Debbie Fleming Caffery, Alex Harris, and Mark Steinmetz; and new commissions by An-My Lê, Sheila Pree Bright, and Jim Goldberg, which will debut in the exhibition.
This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.