Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’s diverse subjects all get the same subtle visual treatment—photographed on a large-format Deardorff against a grey background and lit with a single silky light, his portraits both reveal and flatter. His “List” series has collected important leaders in a range of fields, grouping them by race, gender and sex. A new exhibition, “IDENTITY: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders The List Portraits,” on view at the Annenberg Center for Photography in Los Angeles until February 26, 2017, brings together for the first time all 151 of these portraits, including the latest addition to the series, “The Trans List,” which will also debut as a documentary on HBO on December 5.
Greenfield-Sanders began “The Black List” in 2006, with depictions of influential and pioneering African Americans, from Whoopi Goldberg to Vernon Jordon. The series’ title is a twist on the word “blacklist,” a term of exclusion that Greenfield-Sanders aimed to reclaim as a call of distinction. The success of “The Black List,” which was published as a book in 2008 and developed into a three-part film, inspired more roll calls: “The Latino List”, “The Women’s List,” “The Out List,” and now “The Trans List,” featuring transgender men, women and children. The result is an encyclopedia of American culture in the last decade, including actors, lawyers, activists, curators, models, journalists, comedians and more. “As a comprehensive body of work, the List provides a powerful framework to present stories of exceptional individuals in their own voices who have reflected important conversations on identity over the last ten years that continue to resonate deeply today,” says Greenfield-Sanders in a statement.