Battle reenactment scene filled with smoke, with crowd of soldiers in a trench and a film crew in the foreground of the trenches filming them.

An-My Lê, Film Set, “Free State of Jones,” Battle of Corinth, Bush Louisiana, 2015, (detail) from the series Silent General, 2017, inkjet print. Courtesy the artist and STXfilms. © An-My Lê

An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain

Heinz Galleries

Take a digital tour of the exhibition:

“I am not a war photographer. I find it much more interesting and much more slippery to work with a side-glance view.”—An-My Lê

An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain is the first comprehensive survey of the politically charged work of photographer An-My Lê (American, born Vietnam, 1960). Featuring over 100 photographs, this exhibition presents seven of Lê’s series, providing insight into her evocative images that draw on a landscape tradition to address the complexity of war.

Intimate and timely, this expansive exhibition explores the intricacies of armed combat through the work of a photographer who lived through the Vietnam War. Through Lê’s lens, viewers are exposed to military training, maneuvers, and reenactments, and are invited to question their own relationship to, and complicity in, conflict.

An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain also presents new photographs from Lê’s ongoing series Silent General. These new works grapple with the legacy of America’s Civil War and connect to the complexities of our current socio-political moment. Taking inspiration from Walt Whitman’s autobiographical Specimen Days, the photographs probe the ways in which past conflicts influence and shape the present landscape in America.

While Lê is represented in many major museum collections, An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain is the first ever survey of her work in an American museum. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue, co-published with Aperture, featuring many never-before-published images.

An-My Lê: On Contested Terrain is organized by Dan Leers, curator of photography at Carnegie Museum of Art.

Exhibition Images

A small child stands on a dusty path among trees
A black and white photo of tall trees and an explosion emanating from the ground
A man in military gear sits in a rocky landscape, looking through binoculars
A group of people in naval outfits stand on the edge of a ship, looking out to a sea dotted with large ships
A city road with a large grassy park, which has two large pillars with a covered monument in the middle
A woman wearing an official uniform, standing next to a sign with her hands on her hips


Major support for this exhibition is provided by the Lannan Foundation and the William Talbott Hillman Foundation. Generous support is provided by the Virginia Kaufman Fund, the Henry John Simonds Foundation, the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Jennifer and Karl Salatka, the Virginia S. Warner Foundation, Deb and Sam Berkovitz, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Gouge Family Fund.

Additional support for the exhibition catalogue has been provided by Marian Goodman Gallery and the Beal Publications Fund.

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