Kara Walker’s art takes an irreverent, humorous, and fantastical look at the underbelly of America’s obsessions with race, sex, and violence. Although best known for her room-size tableaux of large-scale black-and-white paper silhouettes, Walker also sustains a prolific output of smaller drawings and works on paper like those displayed here. The artist draws her iconography from sources as varied as the pre-Civil War American South, historical romance novels, commercial culture, and slave narratives. Through a “collusion of fact and fiction,” she creates a complex reading of history that is at once seductive and terrifying. What at first glance appears innocent in its fairytale-like rendering is, upon closer inspection, soon revealed to be full of surprising twists and arresting situations.
Copyright 2000 Walker Art Center