Tuesday, October 16, 2007

In New York: kara walker

There is a powerful exhibit that just opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art. It is a retrospective of work by Kara Walker entitled: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love. This is a thought provoking and emotionally wrenching exhibit that takes an unflinching look at issues of race and gender stereotypes. Although she utilizes multiple media (including painting, drawing, video, light projections, journaling, and shadow-puppetry), she is best know for her use of the 18th and 19th century medium of black, cut-paper silhouettes. And there were some amazing examples at the show. At first glance, the pieces are quite beautiful. But as you become aware of the details of the images themselves - and what they represent - the message behind the show knocks you over. It is a true example of the power of art to move, to inspire, and to even change the viewer. The museum does not allow you to take pictures but below is an image taken from the web of one of her installation pieces from the show. Click on it to enlarge.


5 comments:

Gillian McMurray said...

This is so relevant to me at the moment. I am working on a papercut piece of North American animals for a swap. Not quite the same size as this one though. I hope this artist had an easier job with the larger size. Papercutting in small sizes is the way to madness. Thanks for showing this.

Shell said...

Oh, I saw this in Paris in July. It was amazing and quite confronting. I thought the video, shadow puppet pieces particularly powerful.

&rew said...

Oh wow, I will have to contact my friend and go there! Thanks so much for sharing.

&rew

susanna said...

This is a current exhibition at the Whitney? I'd love to see Kara Walker's work in person. Her work is intelligent and so well done and thought out. Thanks for the information. I'm going to put in on my must-see list.

thealteredpage said...

&rew and Susanna: I highly recommend this incredible show. It is at the Whitney until early February 2008.