LaToya Ruby Frazier’s monograph, The Last Cruze, featuring her 2019 solo exhibition at the Renaissance Society, was featured among top photobooks for the past year by TIME and MoMA Magazine.
Roxana Marcoci, Senior Curator, Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art writes:
In The Last Cruze, LaToya Ruby Frazier documents the ripple effects caused by General Motors’ decision in November 2018 to “unallocate” its plant in Lordstown, Ohio. After more than 50 years in operation, in March 2019 GM called off production of the Chevrolet Cruze, leaving some 2,000 factory workers and their families uprooted. The events caused a historic loss of heritage in Lordstown, bringing intensified attention to the small Rust Belt town, which emerged as a subject of political dispute. The book pairs Frazier’s black-and-white portraits of working-class Americans with their unflinching testimonies, and brings together a selection of color images taken by Kasey King, an autoworker and photographer for the labor union UAW Local 1112, inside the plant (where Frazier was not allowed to photograph).
A careful, research-driven project, The Last Cruze includes a timeline of union history in America and a series of incisive essays by writer Coco Fusco, art historian Benjamin J. Young, curators Karsten Lund and Solveig Øvstebø, and sociologist Werner Lange, alongside interviews with Marxist geographer David Harvey, US Senator Sherrod Brown, and the playwright Lynn Nottage. Frazier’s project amplifies a deep lineage of socially engaged photobooks by Gordon Parks, and is linked to the conceptual practices of Martha Rosler and Allan Sekula.
Read the full article, “Our Favorite Photobooks of 2021,” MoMA Magazine, here.
The Renaissance Society is sold out of the book, but copies are available for purchase here at Gladstone Gallery.