PHYLLIS GALEMBO | BIO & CV

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BIOGRAPHY

Phyllis Galembo’s longstanding photographic career has focused on spirituality and masquerade, particularly in Africa and the African Diaspora in the Americas. The contrast between Galembo’s uncontrived portrait style and her otherworldly subjects underscores the power of masks and ceremony to transform and to perform within “an ornate code of political, artistic, theatrical, social, and religious symbolism and commentary.”

Through her work, her seven books, and as a professor of photography at the State University of New York since 1978, Phyllis Galembo has influenced a generation of photographers. She received a Senior Fulbright Research Award for her work in Nigeria in 1994, and has also received awards from the New York Council for the Arts (NYSCA), and the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) in 1996, 2010, 2016, and was a Guggenheim Fellow in 2014.

Phyllis Galembo has had solo exhibitions at the International Center for Photography (ICP), the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., the Tang Museum, and the American Museum of Natural History, New York, among others and has appeared at the Venice Biennale, Documenta, and in several other group exhibitions.

Her work is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Houston Museum of Art, International Center for Photography (ICP), New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Yale University Art Gallery, Library of Congress among others. Her work has been widely reviewed and published in print and other media.

CV

EDUCATION
1977
Master of Fine Arts (Photography/Printmaking), University of Wisconsin at Madison

TEACHING
1978-2018
Professor, Fine Arts Department, University at Albany, State University of New York

1988-1989
Visiting Photography Professor, Parsons School of Design, West Africa Program, Ivory Coast, Summer 

PUBLICATIONS
Mexico, Masks & Rituals, Photographs by Phyllis Galembo, published by Radius Books / D.A.P., 2019
Maske, by Phyllis Galembo, first published by Chris Boot in 2010
Republished by Aperture in 2016
Dressed for Thrills, 100 Years of Halloween/masquerade costume, Harry Abrams Press, 2002
Vodou: Visions and Voice of Haiti, by Phyllis Galembo, introduction by Gerdes Fleurant, 10 Speed Press, 1998, reprinted 2005
Aso-ebi, Cloth of the Family, by Phyllis Galembo, essay by Dympna Ugwu-Oju, 1997, sponsored by New York Council for the Arts, Catalogue Grant
Divine Inspiration from Benin to Bahia, University of New Mexico Press, 1993. Photographs by Phyllis Galembo with essays by David Byrne, Robert Farris Thompson, Joseph Nevadomsky, Norma Rosen and Zeca Ligiero
Pale Pink, by Phyllis Galembo, Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1982

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2020
Phyllis Galembo: Maske, Boco Raton Museum of Art, Florida. Jan 28-Sep 20, 2020

2019
Máscaras: The Other Faces of Mexico, Cavin Morris, New York, September 5 – October 26, 2019

2017
Steven Kasher Gallery Booth, AIPAD Photography Show, New York, March 30–April 2

2014
HAUTE AFRICA, Foto festival KNOKKE HEIST, Belgium
Slaves of Mimesis: Nine Years on 23rd Street, Steven Kasher Gallery, New York
Face to Face, Israel Museum, Jerusalem
UNSEEN Art Fair, Reflex Amsterdam, Netherlands

2013
Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace), la Biennale di Venezia, curated by Massimiliano Gioni. Venice, Italy. June 1 – November 24

2012
Maske: A Collection of Photographs by Phyllis Galembo, Three Squares Studio, New York, NY. September 15 – December 15

2011
Phyllis Galembo: Maske, Steven Kasher Gallery, New York, NY. March 2 – April 2

2010
Call and Response: Africa to America. The Art of Nick Cave and Phyllis Galembo, Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. May 27 – June 26

2009
Phyllis Galembo: Masquerade, a Decade, Reflex Art Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands. May 23 – July 11

2008
Phyllis Galembo: Masquerade, a Decade, Steven Kasher Gallery, New York, NY. June 28 – September 28
West African Masquerade: Photographs by Phyllis Galembo, George Eastman House, Rochester, NY. June 28 – September 28

2007
West African Masquerade: Photographs by Phyllis Galembo, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY. July 14 – December 30
Gallery exhibition link

2005
Phyllis Galembo, Dressed for Thrills: Halloween and Masquerade Costumes
Philip Slein Gallery, Saint Louis, MO. Oct 21 – Nov 19
Phyllis Galembo, Sepia / The Alkazi Collection, New York City, Jun 23 – July 29 (exhibition reviews here)

2004
Dressed for Thrills: Halloween and Masquerade Costumes, Albany Institute of History and Art. Sep 4 – Dec 5
Visions of Haiti, Vodou and Carnivale: Photographs by Phyllis Galembo, Mead Art Museum, Amherst College, 20 Feb – 16 May

2003
Dressed for Thrills: Halloween and Masquerade Costumes, F.I.T. Museum, New York. Oct 21, 2003 – January 3, 2004

2002
Manifestions of the Spirit, Newark Museum, Newark, NY. Feb 2002-Dec 2002

2001
Manifestations of the Spirit, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC

1999
Kings, Chiefs, Women of Power, Nigeria, La Galeria Sacred Stone, Santa Fe, NM
Kings, Chiefs, Women of Power, Nigeria, University of Missouri, Kansas City, MO

1998
Kings, Chiefs, Women of Power, Nigeria, American Museum of Natural History, New York

1996
Haitian Vodou, Cavin Morris, New York

1995
Divine Inspiration from Benin to Bahia, Brush Gallery, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY
Photogroup Center, Coral Gables, FL

1994
National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, Wilberforce, OH

1993
Divine Inspiration from Benin to Bahia, International Center for Photography, New York

RECENT GRANTS
1998

Faculty Research Award for Halloween/masquerade costumes

1996
Artists’ Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York

1996
Catalogue Grant, New York Council for the Arts, New York

1993-94
Senior Fulbright Research Award, Kings, Chiefs and Women of Power, Nigeria

RECENT INVITED LECTURES/VISITING ARTIST
Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont
San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California
New York University, NY
University of Connecticut, Storrs
Summer Photography Institute, New York University
International Center for Photography, New York City
Photogroup Center, Coral Gables, Florida
Arts Council, African Studies Association Triennial Meeting, N.Y.C.
Northeastern Association of Brazilionists, Union College, Schenectady, New York
Colloquium on The Primitive Arts of Africa, Mesoamerica and Oceania, University Museum of Long Beach, Long Beach, California
O Ritual E O Sagrado, No Brasil E Na Nigeria, USIS, UFPE, FUNDAJ, Recife, Brazil

PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COLLECTIONS
Houston Museum of Art, Houston,Texas
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library, NY
Polaroid Corporation, Boston, Massachusetts
Rockefeller Foundation, New York, NY
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Department of the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, Photography Study Collection, New York.