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Event: Artist Talk Exercising Fellowship: D’Angelo Lovell Williams and Derrick Woods-Morrow

Two black men wearing black doo-rags around the front of their faces kiss while holding each other's faces.
D'angelo Lovell Williams. The Lovers, 2017. Coutersy of the artist and Higher Pictures Gallery.


November 11, 2021


5:00–6:30 pm


Virtual via Zoom


Reserve tickets here.

Exhibiting artist D’Angelo Lovell Williams and Chicago-based photographer Derrick Woods-Morrow convene for a conversation about their relationship with photography and performance. Williams stages poignant portraits exploring black queerness through affectionate encounters between friends, family, and self while Woods-Morrow employs the medium to manifest black queer futures. Moderated by Denny Mwaura, Gallery 400’s Public Programs Manager, the two artists discuss the performative aspects of making images outlined by kinship and friendship structures that chronicle black social life.

This program is free and closed captioning will be available.

D’Angelo Lovell Williams (b. 1992, Jackson, Mississippi) is a Black, HIV-positive artist expanding narratives of Black and queer intimacy through photography. They earned their BFA in photography from Memphis College of Art in 2015, an MFA in photography from Syracuse University in 2018, and are a 2018 Skowhegan School of Art alum. They live and work in New York City. D’Angelo has had four solo exhibitions with Higher Pictures in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. The 2020 exhibition, Papa Don’t Preach, was presented in collaboration with Janice Guy at her gallery in Harlem. D’Angelo’s work can be seen in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Bitter Southerner, Vanity Fair, Financial Times, DAZED, OUT, and VICE.


Derrick Woods-Morrow (b.1990) centers process-oriented collaborative projects with Queerx Black Fol(x) across a wide variety of media. His work has been exhibited in collaboration with Paul Mpagi Sepuya in the Whitney Biennial (2019); in Photography Now: The Searchers (2019 at The Center for Photography at Woodstock); and in thematic international and national group exhibitions at Kunsthal KAdE in the Netherlands (2020), the Schwules Museum in Berlin (2020/21), The Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans (2020), the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2020) and the Smart Museum Chicago (2019).

In 2019 his second short film, much handled things are always soft, debuted in collaboration with the VISUAL AIDS 30th Annual Day With(out) ART programming at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Contemporary Art LA, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Brooklyn Museum, The New Museum and more than 100 institutions worldwide. Much handled things are always soft would later be independently screened in the social media POC cruising App Jack’d, reaching an audience of over 3 million Black and Brown folx in Canada and the US.

In 2021 he was invited to be a part of the Knight Foundation Art & Research Center virtual colloquium and seminars series Animating Archives. He is the 2021 Edith and Philip Leonian fellow at the Center of Photography Woodstock and has completed residencies at The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (2021), Antenna Works (2020/21), Chicago Artists Coalition (2018), the Fire Island Artist Residency (2016) and ACRE (2015). He is the recipient of the 2018 Artadia Award–Chicago and a 2021 Uprise Grant recipient from the Sundance Film Institute.

Woods-Morrow is a member of the Chicago-based collective Concerned Black ImageMakers and serves on the Board of Directors at the Fire Island Artist Residency. His work has been written about in The New York TimesW MagazineArtforumArtnetThe Chicago TribuneNewcityHyperallergicVisual Art SourceArtpapers, ArtDaily and Spot Magazine. Originally from Greensboro, NC, he splits his time between Chicago and Rhode Island.


Suggested Reading:

Emily Dinsdale. “D’Angelo Lovell Williams’ poignant self-portraits offer a space for healing.” Dazed Magazine, April 8, 2020.

Maia Rae Bachman. “Papa Don’t Preach By D’Angelo Lovell Williams.” Musée, June 11, 2019.

Ayla Angelos. “Derrick Woods-Morrow Builds a Safe Space for “Queer Kin” Throughout His Multidisciplinary Practice.” It’s That Nice, September 3, 2021.

Tyra A. Seals. “Operating Along Desire: Derrick Woods-Morrow.” Art Papers, 2021.

Stephanie Leigh Batiste. “Black Performance II: Knowing and Being” The Black Scholar, Vol. 49, no. 4, October 7, 2019 pp 1-5.

Lamar Wilson. “Touch & Intimacy & Kinship.” The Bitter Southerner, July 27, 2021.

S. Nicole Lane. “Intimate Justice: Derrick Woods-Morrow” Sixty Inches From Center, January 3, 2018.

Exercising Fellowship: D’Angelo Lovell Williams and Derrick Woods-Morrow from Art & Art History at UIC on Vimeo.