Derrick Woods-Morrow

Artadia Awardee

“Derrick Woods-Morrow poetically gives form to childhood memories, fleeting sexual encounters, and transitory leisure spaces such as beaches and coastlines. Most recently, Woods-Morrow salvaged hundreds of discarded bricks that once formed the foundation of the Washington Memorial in Chicago and began displaying them in stacks and piles in the lineage of Minimalism and Postminimalism. But as in much of his work, a highly personal and intimate dimension was also infused into the project, as the bricks are coated and fired with “stolen” sand from Fire Island, a site of gay tourism where the artist has openly engaged in noncommittal sexual activity—imbuing the brick and mortar foundations of a monument steeped in colonialism with the transitory materiality of sand and the moment of climax.”

– Jordan Carter, Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, The Art Institute of Chicago

Derrick Woods-Morrow (b.1990. Brown Summit, NC) is a multidisciplinary Chicago-based artist working in photography, sculpture, installation, and performance. His practice navigates and negotiates sexual identity by fragmenting notions of representation, exploring personhood, memories & reimagining ways to understand power dynamics as they pertain to consent and self preservation.

A recipient of the 2015 Fellowship in the Visual Arts by the College Association of Art, Carol Becker Dean’s Merit Scholarship & the Graduate Dean Professional Development Award, Woods-Morrow received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago 16’.

He is an Alum of the Fire Island Artist Residency 2016, Terry Plumming Scholar & Acre Residency Alum 15’, Latitude Chicago Artist in Residence 2017, and is currently a Chicago Artists Coalition 2017-2018 BOLT Resident. He is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Photography and Teaching Artist at the University of Illinois Chicago.

His exhibition highlights include: Solo Exhibitions: Keeping Record, Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago,IL,  The Sand is Ours at Lesley University’s Vandernoot Gallery & Rhode Island University’s Chazan Family Gallery; Selected Two & Three Person Exhibitions: Flat Rate Shipping – Derrick Woods-Morrow & Jesse Malmed, Roots & Culture, Chicago, IL  & Love the Giver |Dutes Miller, Elijah Burgher & Derrick Woods-Morrow | The Franklin | Chicago, IL | curated by Kristin Korolowitz | tarot card reading & workshop by Alia Watson; Selected Group Exhibitions: Ground Floor: A Biennial Exhibition of New Art from Chicago, Hyde Park Art Center; STEADY MESS, Bureau of General Services – Queer Division in Manhattan (in collaboration with the Fire Island Artist Residency); Blindspots, Xpace Cultural Centre in Toronto [in collaboration with Toronto Pride]; 50 x 50 Invitational, Chicago Cultural Center; and New Work: New Art at SAIC, Sullivan Galleries, School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Derrick Woods-Morrow is the recipient of the 2018 Chicago Artadia Award.