2021 Invited Artist: Dread Scott
Dread Scott makes revolutionary art to propel history forward. His work is exhibited across the US
and internationally. In 1989, his art became the center of national controversy over its transgressive
use of the American flag, while he was a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
President G.H.W. Bush called his art “disgraceful” and the entire US Senate denounced and
outlawed this work. Dread became part of a landmark Supreme Court case when he and others
defied the new law by burning flags on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Dread’s studio is now based in
His work has been included in exhibitions at New York’s MoMA PS1, the Walker Art Center,
Minneapolis, Jack Shainman Gallery, NY, and Gallery MOMO in Cape Town, South Africa. His
performance work has been presented at BAM in Brooklyn and on the streets of Harlem, NY. Work
is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Museum. It has been
featured on the cover of Artforum magazine, the front page of NYTimes.com and in Vanity Fair .
Dread is a recipient of a 2018 United States Artists Fellowship and grants from the Creative Capital
Foundation and the Open Society Institute. He works in a range of media from performance and
photography to screen-printing and video.
Dread plays with fire—metaphorically and sometimes literally—as when he burned $171 on Wall
Street and encouraged those with money to add theirs to the pyre. His work asks viewers to look
soberly at America’s past and our present. Writing about a recent banner project, Angelica Rogers
wrote in the New York Times “…it was difficult to look away from the flag’s blocky, capitalized type.
‘A Man Was Lynched by Police Yesterday.’ It shouted the words so matter-of-factly that I felt myself