Allan deSouza

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Allan deSouza (born 1958) is a photographer and multi-media artist.[1] He currently lives and works in San Francisco, where he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art Practice at the University of California, Berkeley.


Born in Nairobi, Kenya, to parents originally from Goa, India, deSouza moved to London, England, when he was seven, and was educated in both the UK and the United States.[2] A traveler and member of an increasingly cross-national, global culture since birth, deSouza engages with issues of migration, relocation, and international travel in much of his work.[3][4][5] The inheritor of the ideas and issues of colonialism and postcolonialism, his photoworks, texts, and installations re-examine historically-fraught meanings of geography, culture, and personal and communal identity.[6][7] Much of his work takes up themes and visual vocabulary of migration and diaspora; his series of photographic work, The World Series, for example, was created as a response to Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series.[8][9][10][11] DeSouza’s interest in movement, travel and dislocation has provoked an engagement with memory and the passage of time in his work.[12][13] For the photographic series The Lost Pictures, DeSouza placed a number of slides of old family photos around his house, deliberately allowing them to become scratched, faded, and covered in dust.[14][15] Desouza’s work, in the words of one critic, “explores...both memory and photography as means of recording and preserving the past from aging, loss, displacement, and historical change.”[16][17] Although often based in historical figures or events, his work also incorporates "fiction, erasure, re-inscription, and (mis)translation".[1]

DeSouza's work has been featured at museums and galleries worldwide, including at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Museum for African Art in New York, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden, and Talwar Gallery, which represents the artist, in New York and New Delhi.

Education and career[edit]

DeSouza attended Goldsmiths College in London, and earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Bath Academy of Art in 1983.[18] He moved to the United States in 1992, participating in the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York and earning a master's in photography from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1997.[19] He has written extensively about contemporary art, contributing to publications such as The Los Angeles Times, X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, Wolgan Art Monthly, and Third Text Journal, and has been invited as a lecturer to museums and universities across the globe, including Pratt Institute, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Seika University in Kyoto, Japan, and Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. DeSouza served as an Associate Professor and Chair of the New Genres department of the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) from 2006 until 2012, when he joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley as head of the Photography Department. In 2012, deSouza was invited to participate in the Rockefeller Foundation Arts and Literary Arts Residency at the Bellagio Center in Lake Como, Italy.

Selected exhibitions[edit]

Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • 2015: Talwar Gallery, Notes from Afar, New York, NY, US
  • 2014, California Museum of Photography, Ark of Martyrs, Riverside, CA
  • 2013: Talwar Gallery, Painting Redux, New Delhi, India[20]
  • 2012: SFCamerawork, The World Series, San Francisco, CA, US[8]
  • 2011: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Close Quarters and Far Pavilions, San Francisco, CA, US[21]
The Phillips Collection, The World Series, Washington, DC, US.[22]
Talwar Gallery, Trysts Tropicales, New York, NY, US[23]
Fowler Museum at UCLA, His Masters' Tools, Los Angeles, CA, US[24]
  • 2010-2011: Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois, The Farthest Point, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, US[25]
  • 2008: Talwar Gallery, (i don't care what you say) Those Are Not Tourist Photos, New York, NY, US
  • 2005: Talwar Gallery, The Lost Pictures, New York, NY, US[26]
  • 2003: Talwar Gallery, people in white houses, New York, NY, US[27]
  • 2001: Art in General, Terrain, New York, NY, US
Talwar Gallery, Allan DeSouza, New York, NY, US[28]

Group exhibitions[edit]

  • 2013: Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art, Earth Matters, Washington, DC, US[29]
Charles Allis and Villa Terrace Museums, Chasing Horizons, Milwaukee, WI, US[30]
  • 2011: Paris Photo, works from the Walther Collection Exhibition, Events of the Self, Paris, France[31]
  • 2010: The Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Material Evidence, Manhattan, KS, US[32]
The Walther Collection, Events of the Self: Portraiture and Social Identity, Neu-Ulm, Germany[33]
Centre Georges Pompidou, Dreamlands, Paris, France[34]
  • 2008: 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, w/- Yong Soon Min, China[35]
  • 2007: Mattress Factory, Double Consciousness, Pittsburgh, PA, US[36]
  • 2006: International Center for Photography, SNAP Judgments, New York, NY, US,[37]
REDCat Gallery, An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life, Los Angeles, CA, US[38]
William Benton Museum of Art, Masala, Storrs Mansfield, CT, US[41]
  • 2003: Museum for African Art, Looking Both Ways, New York, NY, US
  • 1998: New Museum, Urban Encounters, New York, NY, US[42]
  • 1997: Studio Museum in Harlem, Transforming the Crown, Harlem, New York, NY, US[43]
The Queens Museum, Out of India, Queens, NY, US[44]
  • 1993: Whitney Museum, Whitney Biennial, Video collaboration with Yong Soon Min, New York, NY, US[45]



  1. ^ a b "Allan deSouza". Allan deSouza. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  2. ^ Sujeet Rajan, “Creating models…”, The Indian Express, November 16, 2001.
  3. ^ May Joseph (1999). Nomadic Identities: The Performance of Citizenship. U of Minnesota Press. pp. 146–. ISBN 978-0-8166-2636-6. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Britany Salsbury, "Critic’s Picks: Allan deSouza", Artforum, August 2011.
  5. ^ Karin Miller-Lewis, "Stripping Illusions," Art India, August 2008.
  6. ^ Lisa Piazza (2007). The Notion of Home and the Diasporic Subject: Memory and Forgetting in Allan deSouza's "The Lost Pictures" Series. ProQuest. pp. 7–. ISBN 978-0-549-32207-8. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Africa Remix: Contemporary Art of a Continent. Jacana Media. 2007. pp. 192–. ISBN 978-1-77009-363-8. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Julia Glosemeyer, "The World Series", Art Practical, February 2012, accessed July 22, 2013.
  9. ^ Joanna Grabski; Carol Magee (28 May 2013). African Art, Interviews, Narratives: Bodies of Knowledge at Work. Indiana University Press. pp. 163–. ISBN 978-0-253-00699-8. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  10. ^ David Lloyd (1 January 2008). Irish Times: Temporalities of Modernity. Field Day Publications. pp. 147–. ISBN 978-0-946755-40-0. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Holland Cotter, "Allan deSouza", The New York Times, February 29, 2008.
  12. ^ Margo Machida (2 January 2009). Unsettled Visions: Contemporary Asian American Artists and the Social Imaginary. Duke University Press. pp. 334–. ISBN 978-0-8223-9174-6. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  13. ^ Lavina Melwani, "Blurred Tenses", India Today, December 17, 2001.
  14. ^ “Allan DeSouza”, The Village Voice, July 2005.
  15. ^ Ken Johnson, "Allan DeSouza: ‘The Lost Pictures’", The New York Times, July 8, 2005.
  16. ^ “Allan deSouza: The Lost Pictures,” Modern Painters, September 2005.
  17. ^ Janet Staiger; Ann Cvetkovich; Ann Reynolds (15 June 2010). Political Emotions. Routledge. pp. 165–. ISBN 978-0-203-84953-8. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  18. ^ "allan-bio « TALWAR GALLERY". Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  19. ^ Deepak Talwar, (desi)re, New York: Talwar Gallery, 2005.
  20. ^ Sonam Joshi, "Paint it black", Time Out Delhi, December 2012, accessed July 22, 2013.
  21. ^ "Allan DeSouza: Close Quarters and Far Pavilions," Flavorpill accessed July 22, 2013.
  22. ^ Britany Salsbury, "Critic's Picks," Art Forum, August 2011.
  23. ^ "Trysts Tropicales", Art Calender, accessed July 22, 2013; dead link, 4 January 2015.
  24. ^ "Alumnus Allan deSouza reworks famed masterpieces to explore feelings of displacement", Daily Bruin, January 23, 2011, accessed July 22, 2013.
  25. ^ Allyson Purpura, "Allan DeSouza: The Farthest Point," Ninth Letter, accessed July 22, 2013.
  26. ^ "Allan DeSouza: The Lost Pictures," The New York Times, July 8, 2005.
  27. ^ Holland Cotter, "Art in Review: Allan DeSouza", The New York Times, June 13, 2003.
  28. ^ Holland Cotter, "Allan DeSouza", The New York Times, December 7, 2001.
  29. ^ Lonnae O'Neal Parker, "'Earth Matters,' at National Museum of African Art, looks at humanity's ties to planet", The Washington Post, April 21, 2013.
  30. ^ "Chasing Horizons", Express Milwaukee, July 17, 2013.
  31. ^ "Paris Photo 2011 Private Collection", La Journal de la Photographie, August 11, 2011.
  32. ^ "Beach Museum Gathers 'Material Evidence' for Exhibit", High Beam, November 10, 2010.
  33. ^ "Events of the Self", E-Flux, April 23, 2010.
  34. ^ "DREAMLANDS at the Pompidou", Aesthetica Magazine Blog, May 21, 2010.
  35. ^ Saskia Draxler, "3rd Guangzhou Triennial", frieze 119, November–December 2008.
  36. ^ Savannah Guz, "We're seeing 'Double Consciousness,' with art of the Indian diaspora, at The Mattress Factory", Pittsburgh City Paper, June 14, 2007.
  37. ^ Holland Cotter, "Colorful and Clashing: Looking at Africa", The New York Times, March 17, 2006.
  38. ^ "An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life," ARTnews, 2006.
  39. ^ Holland Cotter, "Desi(re)", The New York Times, March 25, 2005.
  40. ^ Roland Kapferer, "Africa Remix", frieze 92, June–August 2005.
  41. ^ Holland Cotter, "Art in Review; 'Masala'", The New York Times, April 9, 2004.
  42. ^ Holland Cotter, "Urban Encounters", The New York Times, August 14, 1998.
  43. ^ Dan Gaba, "Playing in the Neighborhood", The New York Times, October 12, 1997.
  44. ^ Holland Cotter, "Many Shows and Many Indias", The New York Times, December 26, 1997.
  45. ^ Roberta Smith, "At the Whitney, A Biennal with a Social Conscience", The New York Times, March 5, 1993.
  46. ^ "Artist to discuss 'Bodies in Transit'", UNC News, October 12, 2009.
  47. ^ "New Geographies in Contemporary African Art", HNet: Humanities and Social Sciences Online, February 12, 2008.
  48. ^ "Will **** for Peace", Oboro, May 2003.

External links[edit]