No. 412: LaToya Ruby Frazier

Episode No. 412 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features artist LaToya Ruby Frazier.

The Renaissance Society in Chicago is showing “LaToya Ruby Frazier: The Last Cruze.” The exhibition features a new body of work that focuses on the United Auto Workers members at General Motors’s Lordstown, Ohio plant. The facility, which had produced automobiles for over 50 years, was recently “unallocated” by GM — a term-of-art that indicates the plant has been shut down. Until recently it produced the Chevrolet Cruze. Frazier’s pictures present members of UAW Local 1112, and tell the story of their lives and the community they’ve built in northeastern Ohio. On September 14, the day the exhibition opened in Chicago, the UAW’s current national contract with the Big Three automakers — GM, Ford and Chrysler — ended. The UAW instigate a strike at GM plants. It is already the longest strike against GM since 1970. “The Last Cruze” is on view through December 1. It was curated by Karsten Lund and Solveig Øvstebø.

LaToya Ruby Frazier is a Chicago-based artist whose work most often examines the ways in which corporations have impacted the lives of workers, their families and their communities. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at numerous museums in France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and across the United States. She was the recipient of a 2015 MacArthur Foundation ‘genius’ grant, and has also received awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and USA Artists.

Air date: September 26, 2019.

LaToya Ruby Frazier, Sherria Duncan, UAW Local 1112, at her kitchen table with her mother Waldine
Arrington, her daughter Olivia, and her husband Jason, (23 years in at GM Lordstown Complex, trim and paint shop), Austintown, OH, 2019.

LaToya Ruby Frazier, Louis Robinson, Jr., UAW Local 1714, Recording Secretary, at UAW Local 1112
Reuther, Scandy, Alli union hall, (34 years in at GM Lordstown Complex, die setter), Lordstown, OH, 2019.

Gordon Parks, Washington, D.C. Government charwoman [Ella Watson], 1942.

Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother [Florence Owens Thompson], 1936.

LaToya Ruby Frazier, United Auto Workers, Locals 1112 and 1714, standing at the intersection of Ellsworth Bailey Road, Hallock Young Road, and I-80 Ohio Turnpike toll road entrance on March 8th 2019, Lordstown, OH, 2019.

LaToya Ruby Frazier, Louis Robinson, Jr.’s Walter P. Reuther Distinguished Service UAW Award atop his hand-built display vitrine of Barack Obama and Michelle Obama Inaugural Ball Dolls, Youngstown, OH, 2019.

LaToya Ruby Frazier, Prayer Service at the Cortland Trinity Baptist Church for GM workers, their families, and Trumbull County region (Dave Green, Pamela Brown, Norm Perry and Dave Hake receiving prayer from Pastor Dan Barker), Cortland, OH, 2019.

LaToya Ruby Frazier, Lisa Cartwright, Service Cashier, holding her father’s work-shirt and his Chevrolet-Fisher Body antique ruler, inside the maintenance shop at Sweeney Chevrolet Buick GMC car dealership, Boardman, OH, 2019.

LaToya Ruby Frazier, Mindy Miller, Iron Workers Union Local 851, standing in her grandmother’s living room with her mother and grandmother, Lezlie and Marlene Miller, (11 years in at Auto Warehouse Company (AWC)), Niles, OH, 2019.

LaToya Ruby Frazier, Lordstown homes across the street from General Motors Lordstown Complex, 2300 Hallock Young Road, Warren, OH, 2019.

Useful Art Services.

LaToya Ruby Frazier: The Last Cruze, installation view at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. Photo: Useful Art Services.

LaToya Ruby Frazier, from Flint is Family, 2016.

LaToya Ruby Frazier, from A Dsepoiliation of Water From the Housatonic to Monongahela River (1930-2013), 2013.

La Toya Ruby Frazier, Stacey Abrams, 2019.

LaToya Ruby Frazier, Momme, 2008.

LaToya Ruby Frazier, Momme, 2018.

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