Hank Willis Thomas

Photographer and Conceptual Artist

Hank Willis Thomas is a photo conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to identity, history and popular culture. He received his BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and his MFA in photography, along with an MA in visual criticism, from California College of the Arts in San Francisco.


Thomas has been a visiting professor at CCA and in the MFA programs at Maryland Institute College of Art and ICP/Bard and has lectured at Yale University, Princeton University, the Birmingham Museum of Art and the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris.  His work has been featured in many publications including Reflections in Black,  25 under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers and 30 Americans.  Thomas’ monograph, Pitch Blackness, was published by Aperture in 2008.  

Thomas received a new media fellowship through the Tribeca Film Institute and was an artist in residence at John Hopkins University. He has exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and abroad including Galerie Anne De Villepoix in Paris, the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco and the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford. Thomas’ work is in numerous public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Museum of Fine Art in Houston. His collaborative projects have been featured at the Sundance Film Festival and installed publicly at the Oakland International Airport, The Oakland Museum of California and the University of California, San Francisco. Recent exhibitions include Dress Codes: The International Center for Photography’s Triennial of Photography and Video, Greater New York at P.S. 1/MoMa, Contact Toronto Photography Festival and Houston Fotofest. Thomas is currently a fellow at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University. Thomas is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City.

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