Hank Willis Thomas was born in Plainfield, New Jersey. In 1998 he graduated with a BFA in Photography and Africana studies at New York University, completing an MFA in Photography and an MA in Visual Criticism at California College of the Arts in 2004.
Currently based in New York City, Hank Willis Thomas’s practice is rooted in history, identity and popular culture, and aims to decode entrenched, often overlooked notions of racial prejudice within the psyche of corporate America.
Hank Willis Thomas has exhibited throughout the United States and abroad, including The International Centre for Photography, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Solo exhibitions to-date include Blind Memory and Freedom Isn’t Always Beautiful at SCAD Museum of Art (Savannah, Georgia: 2017); Unbranded: A Century of White Women, 1915-2015 at Weatherspoon Art Museum located at the University of North Carolina (North Carolina, United States of America: 2016); Hank Willis Thomas: History Doesn’t Laugh at Goodman Gallery (Johannesburg, South Africa: 2014); and What Goes Without Saying at Jack Shainman Gallery (New York, United Staes of America: 2012)
Group exhibitions include Alchemy: Transformations in Gold at Des Moines Art Center (Iowa, United States of America: 2017); Uncommon Likeness: Identity in Flux at Sheldon Museum of Art located at the University of Nebraska (Lincoln, Nebraska: 2016); and Africa Now: Political Patterns at Seoul Museum of Art (Seoul, Korea: 2014-15), amongst others.