The first pieces you’ll see when you step into “Strange Fruit,” a one-room collection of new works by Hank Willis Thomas, are large-scale color photographs that illustrate the ironies surrounding black athletes: a football player tethered by a first-down measuring chain; a basketball star defying gravity under a noose rather than a hoop. But those works are less affecting than Thomas’ depictions of lynchings. In one series, he separates the victim’s image from that of the watching crowd, places them into separate frames, and fills in the negative space with reflective mylar. The viewer then becomes an integral part of each image. In another series, Thomas cuts out the lifeless bodies that remain after a lynching; decontextualized, they hover as angelic, yet tortured, forms.
The exhibit is on view 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays to Jan. 16 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. $10. (202) 639-1700.