Dionne Lee True North 2019

  • Not on view

In her work, Dionne Lee explores her relationship to the natural world and experiments with processes like scanning, solarization, and scrawling across the surfaces of her prints with graphite. In North and True North, Lee pictures her hands in a gesture used in the northern hemisphere to locate the North Star. She shows us how the body can be used as a tool—here, a compass. She also considers north as an aspirational destination for people fleeing enslavement in the southern United States, reflecting that her own ancestors may have “held their body in that same position.” By performing this gesture, she calls back to them.

Gallery label from 2021
Collage of gelatin silver prints with graphite
15 7/8 × 11 7/8" (40.3 × 30.2 cm)
Fund for the Twenty-First Century
Object number
© 2023 Dionne Lee

Installation views

We have identified these works in the following photos from our exhibition history.

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].