SFMOMA Profile: Kara Walker

21 07 2010

Living so near to San Francisco, we take advantage and drive up the coast once a month or so to see the City. On a recent visit, we spent several hours in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. They have a vast collection of permanent works and temporary exhibits, as well as regular events hosted by SFMOMA.

We were fortunate enough to catch some artwork by artist Kara Walker. Born in California, Walker felt a connection to the images from history textbooks, and often explores subjects such as how African-Americans were treated during the Antebellum age in the South. She studied painting and printmaking at the Atlanta College of Art.

While I’m not typically drawn to modern pieces, Walker’s work is captivating, and yes, at times, disturbing, as much great art can be. The subject matter of art is not always pleasant, but it will certainly evoke an emotion. She works in various mediums, but often with paper cut-outs to form a silhouette, as above. This was a popular art form during the period of slavery. She explains, “The silhouette says a lot with very little information.”

As a response to Hurricane Katrina, was interested in the images she saw of New Orleans and created “After the Deluge.”

Her artwork has spread across the country. Pieces can be seen at the MOMA in New York City, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.

Piece entitled "No mere words can Adequately reflect the Remorse this Negress feels at having been Cast into such a lowly state by her former Masters and so it is with a Humble heart that she brings about their physical Ruin and earthly Demise"

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