Deana Lawson takes photographs of strangers. She wants to highlight the aesthetics of Black identity and culture. It’s a “mythological extended family,” she explains. Many of her subjects remind Lawson of someone she’s met or known in the past. She selects them at random, perhaps on a street or in a café, and shoots the large-scale pictures in a choreographed setting, dictating lighting, decor, and pose. A textured carpet, patterned pillows, or an unconventional outfit creates scenes reminiscent of historical portraiture. “I describe it as time-stopping,” Lawson says. Some of the final products are embedded with holograms, which imbues them with hidden energy. This exhibition is the first museum survey dedicated to Lawson’s work. —E.C.