Hank Willis Thomas – Unbranded

ALUM Hank Willis Thomas current NYC exhibition, Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015,  at Jack Shainman Gallery in Chelsea closes tomorrow May 23. It has gotten a huge amount of press which we have excerpted and linked to below.

The essays from the excellent exhibition catalog are online at Africanah

[excerpt from The truth about adverts: selling the White Woman in The Guardian]

Hank Willis Thomas’s work examines the ways in which advertising has fabricated notions of gender and race, and then convinced us all to buy into them. “I always talk about racism as the most successful advertising campaign of all time,” Thomas says. His work serves as a sort of counter-campaign; one that aims to muddy the myths we’ve been marketed. “I want to complicate the way that I’m seen and the way that I look at other people.”

Chained to perfection, 1965/2015. Photograph courtesy Hank Willis Thomas and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Chained to perfection, 1965/2015. courtesy HWT & Jack Shainman Gallery, NY

His latest exhibition is Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015, in New York. It follows Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America, 1968-2000, his 2007 exhibition that surveyed the branding of blackness. A Century of White Women examines how advertising has helped construct gender ideals over the last 100 years. If racism is the most successful advertising campaign of all time, then sexism, as the work illustrates, isn’t far behind.

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More Press

You don’t have to try so hard!, 1958. Artist Hank Willis Thomas and NPR’s Linda Wertheimer used this “unbranded” ad from 1958 — with a man mischievously smiling as a woman laps up beer — as an example of the growing sexualization of women in ads from the late ’50s.

Interview on NPR

 HyperallericThe Unchanging Portrayal of White Women in 100 years of advertisements

Brooklyn Rail: Hank Willis Thomas in conversation with Allie Biswas

HANK WILLIS THOMAS, an essay by Shelley Rice

ForbesHank Willis Thomas reveals truths about women in advertising

IJ Review

NY Magazine

Musee Magazine

Town and Country Magazine

Huffington Post

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