Kara Elizabeth Walker
November 26, 1969
Stockton, California, U.S.
|Education||Atlanta College of Art, Rhode Island School of Design|
|Known for||Conceptual art, multimedia art, text art, painting, printmaking, collage|
|Darkytown Rebellion, no place (like home), A Subtlety|
|Awards||MacArthur Fellow, Larry Aldrich Award, the Deutsche Bank Prize, American Academy of Arts and Letters|
Kara Elizabeth Walker (born November 26, 1969) is an American contemporary painter, silhouettist, print-maker, installation artist, filmmaker, and professor who explores race, gender, sexuality, violence, and identity in her work. She is best known for her room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes. Walker has been the Tepper Chair in Visual Arts at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University since 2015.
Early life and education
Walker was born in Stockton, California, in 1969. She lived with her father, Larry Walker (b. 1935), who worked as a painter and professor. Kara's mom Gwendolyn worked as an administrative assistant. Reflecting on her father's influence, Walker recalls: "One of my earliest memories involves sitting on my dad's lap in his studio in the garage of our house and watching him draw. I remember thinking: 'I want to do that, too,' and I pretty much decided then and there at age 2½ or 3 that I was an artist just like Dad."
Walker received her BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in 1991 and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994. Walker found herself uncomfortable and afraid to address race within her art during her early college years. However, she found her voice on this topic while attending Rhode Island School of Design for her Master's, where she began introducing race into her art. She had a distinct worry that having race as the nucleus of her content would be received as "typical" or "obvious."
According to The New York Times art critic Holland Cotter, "Nothing about [Walker's] very early life would seem to have predestined her for this task. Born in 1969, she grew up in an integrated California suburb, part of a generation for whom the uplift and fervor of the civil rights movement and the want-it-now anger of Black Power were yesterday's news." Walker moved to her father's native Georgia at the age of 13, when he accepted a position at Georgia State University. This was a culture shock for the young artist: "In sharp contrast with the widespread multi-cultural environment Walker had enjoyed in coastal California, Stone Mountain still held Ku Klux Klan rallies. At her new high school, Walker recalls, "I was called a 'nigger', told I looked like a monkey, accused (I didn't know it was an accusation) of being a 'Yankee.'"
Work and career
Walker is best known for her panoramic friezes of cut-paper silhouettes, usually black figures against a white wall, which address the history of American slavery and racism through violent and unsettling imagery. She has also produced works in gouache, watercolor, video animation, shadow puppets, "magic-lantern" projections, as well as large-scale sculptural installations like her ambitious public exhibition with Creative Time called A Subtlety (2014). The black and white silhouettes confront the realities of history, while also using the stereotypes from the era of slavery to relate to persistent modern-day concerns. Her exploration of American racism can be applied to other countries and cultures regarding relations between race and gender, and reminds us of the power of art to defy conventions.
She first came to the art world's attention in 1994 with her mural Gone, An Historical Romance of a Civil War as It Occurred Between the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart. This cut-paper silhouette mural, presenting an Antebellum south filled with sex and slavery was an instant hit. At the age of 28, she became the second youngest recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's "genius" grant, second only to renowned Mayanist David Stuart. In 2007, the Walker Art Center exhibition Kara Walker: My Complement, My Oppressor, My Enemy, My Love was the artist's first full-scale U.S. museum survey.
Her influences include Adrian Piper's "who played with her identity as a light-skinned black woman to flush racism out of hiding using" political self-portraits which address ostracism, otherness, racial "passing," and racism, Andy Warhol, and Robert Colescott, who inserted cartoonish Dixie sharecroppers into his version of Vincent Van Gogh's Dutch peasant cottages.
Walker's silhouette images work to bridge unfinished folklore in the Antebellum South, raising identity and gender issues for African-American women in particular. However, because of her confrontational approach to the topic, Walker's artwork is reminiscent of Andy Warhol's Pop Art during the 1960s (indeed, Walker says she adored Warhol growing up as a child). Her nightmarish yet fantastical images incorporate a cinematic feel. Walker uses images from historical textbooks to show how enslaved African-Americans were depicted during Antebellum South. The silhouette was typically a genteel tradition in American art history; it was often used for family portraits and book illustrations. Walker carried on this portrait tradition but used them to create characters in a nightmarish world, a world that reveals the brutality of American racism and inequality.
Walker's work pokes holes in the romantic idea of the past—exposing the humiliating, desperate reality that was life for plantation slaves. She also incorporates ominous, sharp fragments of the South's landscape; such as Spanish moss trees and a giant moon obscured by dramatic clouds. These images surround the viewer and create a circular, claustrophobic space. This circular format paid homage to another art form, the 360-degree historical painting known as the cyclorama. Some of her images are grotesque, for example, in The Battle of Atlanta, a white man, presumably a Southern soldier, is raping a black girl while her brother watches in shock, a white child is about to insert his sword into a nearly-lynched black woman's vagina, and a male black slave rains tears all over an adolescent white boy. The use of physical stereotypes such as flatter profiles, bigger lips, straighter nose, and longer hair helps the viewer immediately distinguish the "negroes" from the "whities". It is blatantly clear in her artwork who is in power and who is the victim to the people with power. There is a hierarchy in America relating to race and gender with white males at the top and women of color (specifically black) at the bottom. Walker depicts the inequalities and mistreatment of African Americans by their white counterparts. Viewers at the Studio Museum in Harlem looked sickly, shocked, and some appalled upon seeing her exhibition. Thelma Golden, the museum's chief curator, said that "throughout her career, Walker has challenged and changed the way we look at and understand American history. Her work is provocative and emotionally wrenching, yet overwhelmingly beautiful and intellectually compelling." Walker has said that her work addresses the way Americans look at racism with a "soft focus," avoiding "the confluence of disgust and desire and voluptuousness that are all wrapped up in ... racism."
In an interview with New York's Museum of Modern Art, Walker stated: "I guess there was a little bit of a slight rebellion, maybe a little bit of a renegade desire that made me realize at some point in my adolescence that I really liked pictures that told stories of things- genre paintings, historical paintings- the sort of derivatives we get in contemporary society."
In her piece created in 2000, Insurrection! (Our Tools Were Rudimentary, Yet We Pressed On), the silhouetted characters are against a background of colored light projections. This gives the piece a transparent quality, evocative of the production cels from the animated films of the thirties. It also references the well-known plantation story Gone With the Wind and the Technicolor film based on it. Also, the light projectors were set up so that the shadows of the viewers were also cast on the wall, making them characters and encouraging them to really assess the work's tough themes. In 2005, she created the exhibit 8 Possible Beginnings or: The Creation of African-America, a Moving Picture, which introduced moving images and sound. This helped immerse the viewers even deeper into her dark worlds. In this exhibit, the silhouettes are used as shadow puppets. Also, she uses the voice of herself and her daughter to suggest how the heritage of early American slavery has affected her own image as an artist and woman of color.
In response to Hurricane Katrina, Walker created "After the Deluge," since the hurricane had devastated many poor and black areas of New Orleans. Walker was bombarded with news images of "black corporeality," including fatalities from the hurricane reduced to bodies and nothing more. She likened these casualties to African slaves piled onto ships for the Middle Passage, the Atlantic crossing to America.
I was seeing images that were all too familiar. It was black people in a state of life-or-death desperation, and everything corporeal was coming to the surface: water, excrement, sewage. It was a re-inscription of all the stereotypes about the black body.
In February 2009, Walker was included in the inaugural exhibition of Sacramouche Gallery, "The Practice of Joy Before Death; It Just Wouldn't Be a Party Without You." Recent works by Kara Walker include Frum Grace, Miss Pipi's Blue Tale (April–June 2011) at Lehmann Maupin, in collaboration with Sikkema Jenkins & Co. A concurrent exhibition, Dust Jackets for the Niggerati- and Supporting Dissertations, Drawings submitted ruefully by Dr. Kara E. Walker, opened at Sikkema Jenkins on the same day.
Walker created Katastwóf Karavan, for the 2018 art festival "Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp" in New Orleans. This sculpture was an old-timey wagon, with Walker’s signature silhouettes portraying slaveholders and slaves making up the sides, and a custom-built steam-powered calliope playing songs of “black protest and celebration.”
Although Walker is known for her serious exhibitions with an overall deep meaning behind her work, she admits relying on "humor and viewer interaction." Walker has stated, "I didn't want a completely passive viewer, "I wanted to make work where the viewer wouldn't walk away; he would either giggle nervously, get pulled into history, into fiction, into something totally demeaning and possibly very beautiful."
In 2002, Walker created a site-specific installation, An Abbreviated Emancipation (from a larger work: The Emancipation Approximation), which was commissioned by The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor . The work represented motifs and themes of race relations and their roots in the system of slavery prior to the Civil War.
In 2005, The New School unveiled Walker's first public art installation, a site-specific mural titled Event Horizon and placed along a grand stairway leading from the main lobby to a major public program space.
In May 2014, Walker debuted her first sculpture, a monumental piece and public artwork entitled A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant. The massive work was installed in the derelict Domino Sugar Refinery in Brooklyn and commissioned by Creative Time. The installation consisted of a colossal female sphinx, measuring approximately 75-feet long by 35-feet high, preceded by an arrangement of fifteen life-size young male figures, dubbed attendants. The sphinx, which bore the head and features of the Mammy archetype, was made by covering a core of machine-cut blocks of polystyrene with a slurry of white sugar; Domino donated 80 tons of sugar for Walker's piece. The smaller figures, modelled after racist figurines that Walker purchased online, were cast from boiled sugar (similar to hard candy) and had a dark amber or black coloring. After the exhibition closed in July 2014, the factory and the artwork were demolished as had been planned before the show. Walker has hinted that the whiteness of the sugar references its "aesthetic, clean, and pure quality." The slave trade is highlighted in the sculpture as well. Walker also composed the "Lollipop" boys around the sphinx also made of sugar that has turned into molasses. Remarking on the overwhelmingly white audience at the exhibition in tandem with the political and historical content of the installation, art critic Jamilah King argued that "the exhibit itself is a striking and incredibly well executed commentary on the historical relationship between race and capital, namely the money made off the backs of black slaves on sugar plantations throughout the Western Hemisphere. So the presence of so many white people -- and my own presence as a black woman who's a descendant of slaves -- seemed to also be part of the show." The work attracted over 130,000 visitors in its eight-weekend run.
In 2016, Walker revealed Slaughter of the Innocents (They Might be Guilty of Something). In the painting, Walker depicts an African American woman slicing a baby with a small scythe. The influence for this detail was that of Margaret Garner, a slave who killed her own daughter to prevent her child returning to slavery.
In 2019, Walker created Fons Americanus, the fifth annual Hyundai Commission at Tate Modern's Turbine Hall. The fountain, measuring up to 13 m, contains allegorical motifs referencing the histories of Africa, America, and Europe, particularly pertaining to the Atlantic slave trade. In her review of Walker’s Fons Americanus for artnet news, Naomi Rea noted that "the piece is so loaded with art-historical and cultural references that you could teach an entire college history course without leaving Turbine Hall." She also observed that - owing to the fountain’s running water - the great work of art could be both seen and heard in the Turbine Hall. The artwork is, at the same time, a sort of public monument inspired in part by the Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace. Writing in 2019, acclaimed writer Zadie Smith observed something about public monuments that Walker interrogates in Fons Americanus: “Monuments are complacent; they put a seal upon the past, they release us from dread. For Walker dread is an engine: it prompts us to remember and rightly fear the ruins we shouldn’t want to return to, and don’t wish to re-create—if we’re wise.”
For the season 1998/1999 in the Vienna State Opera Walker designed a large-scale picture (176 m2) as part of the exhibition series "Safety Curtain", conceived by museum in progress. In 2009, Walker curated volume 11 of Merge Records', Score!. Invited by fellow artist Mark Bradford in 2010 to develop a set of free lesson plans for K-12 teachers at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Walker offered a lesson that had students collaborating on a story by exchanging text messages.
The Detroit Institute of Art removed her The Means to an End: A Shadow Drama in Five Acts (1995) from a 1999 exhibition "Where the Girls Are: Prints by Women from the DIA's Collection" when African-American artists and collectors protested its presence. The five-panel silhouette of an antebellum plantation scene was in the permanent collection and was to be re-exhibited at some point according to a DIA spokesperson.
A Walker piece entitled The moral arc of history ideally bends towards justice but just as soon as not curves back around toward barbarism, sadism, and unrestrained chaos caused a controversy among employees at Newark Public Library who questioned its appropriateness for the reading room where it was hung. The artwork included depictions of the Ku Klux Klan accompanied by a burning cross, a naked black woman fellating a white man, and Barack Obama. The piece was covered but not removed in December 2012. After discussion among employees and trustees the work was again uncovered. In March 2013 Walker visited the New Jersey Newark Public Library to discuss the work and the controversy. Walker discussed the content of the work including racism, identity and her use of "heroic" figures such as Obama. Walker asked “[d]o these archetypes collapse history? They’re supposed to expand the conversation, but they often collapse it.” Walker described the overwhelming subject matter of her works as a "too-muchness".
In the 1999 PBS documentary I'll Make Me a World, African-American artist Betye Saar criticized Walker's work for its "revolting and negative" depiction of black stereotypes and slaves. Saar accused the art of pandering to the enjoyment of "the white art establishment". In 1997 Saar emailed 200 fellow artists, and politicians to voice her concerns about Walker's use of racist and sexist imagery, and its positive reception in the art world. This attention to Walker's practice led to a 1998 symposium at Harvard University, Change a Joke and Slip the Yoke: A Harvard University Conference on Racist Imagery, which discussed her work.
Walker's first museum survey, in 2007, was organized by Philippe Vergne for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and traveled to the Whitney Museum in New York, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and the ARC/Musee d'Art Moderne de la ville de Paris.
- 2013: We at the Camden Arts Centre are Exceedingly Proud to present an Exhibition of Capable Artworks by the Notable Hand of the Celebrated American, Kara Elizabeth Walker, Negress, Camden Art Centre, London (toured to the MAC, Belfast in 2014)
- 2014: A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant, Creative Time, Brooklyn, NY.
- 2016: The Ecstasy of St. Kara, Cleveland Museum of Art.
- 2017: Sikkema Jenkins and Co. is Compelled to Present the Most Astounding And Important Painting Show of the Fall Art Show Viewing Season!, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY.
- 2019: Untitled - Hyundai Commission, Tate Modern.
Among the public collections holding work by Walker are the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Weisman Art Museum (Minneapolis, Minnesota); the Tate Collection, London; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (Madison, WI), the Menil Collection, Houston; and the Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, Virginia. Early large-scale cut-paper works have been collected by, among others, Jeffrey Deitch and Dakis Joannou.
In 1997, Walker — who was 28 at the time — was one of the youngest people to receive a MacArthur fellowship. There was a lot of criticism[weasel words] because of her fame at such a young age and the fact that her art was most popular within the white community. In 2007, Walker was listed among Time Magazine′s 100 Most Influential People in The World, Artists and Entertainers, in a citation written by fellow artist Barbara Kruger. In 2012, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2018.
Walker has received the Deutsche Bank Prize and the Larry Aldrich Award. She was the United States representative for the 25th International São Paulo Biennial in Brazil (2002). She is the 2005 Larry Aldrich Award recipient. In 2016 completed a residency at the American Academy in Rome.
Early in her career, Walker lived in Providence, Rhode Island with her husband, German-born jewelry professor Klaus Bürgel, whom she married in 1996. In 1997, she gave birth to a daughter. The couple separated and their divorce was finalized in 2010. As of 2017, Walker is in a relationship with photographer and filmmaker Ari Marcopoulos.
Walker moved to Fort Greene, Brooklyn in 2002 and has been a professor of visual arts in the MFA program at Columbia University since then. She maintained a studio in the Garment District, Manhattan from 2010 until 2017. In May 2017, she moved her art practice to a studio in Industry City. She also owns a country home in rural Massachusetts.
- D'Arcy, David. "Kara Walker Kicks Up a Storm," Modern Painters (April 2006).
- Garrett, Shawn-Marie. "Return of the Repressed," Theater 32, no. 2 (Summer 2002).
- Kazanjian, Dodie. "Cut it Out," Vogue (May 2005).
- Szabo, Julia. "Kara Walker's Shock Art," New York Times Magazine 146, no. 50740 (March 1997).
- Walker, Hamza. "Kara Walker: Cut it Out," Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art no. 11/12 (Fall/Winter 2000).
- Als, Hilton. "The Shadow Act," The New Yorker, October 8, 2007
- Als, Hilton. "The Sugar Sphinx," The New Yorker, May 8, 2014
- Scott, Andrea K. "Kara Walker's Ghosts of Future Evil", the New Yorker, September 9, 2017
- Wall, David. "Transgression, Excess, and the Violence of Looking in the Art of Kara Walker," Oxford Art Journal vol. 33, no. 3 (2010). https://www.jstor.org/stable/40983288?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents
Non-fiction books and catalogues
- Barrett, Terry. Interpreting Art: Reflecting, Wondering, and Responding , New York: McGraw Hill (2002).
- Berry, Ian, Darby English, Vivian Patterson, Mark Reinhardt, eds. Narratives of a Negress, Boston: M.I.T. Press (2003).
- Carpenter, Elizabeth and Joan Rothfuss. Bits & Pieces Put Together to Present a Semblance of A Whole: Walker Art Center Collections. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2005.
- Jacobs, Harriet. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1858).
- Shaw, Gwendolyn Dubois. Seeing the Unspeakable: The Art of Kara Walker, Durham and London: Duke University Press (2004). http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/55008318
- Vergne, Philippe, et al. Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2007. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/602217956
- Walker, Kara E. Kara Walker: After the Deluge. New York: Rizzoli, 2007. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/144225309
- Walker, Kara E., Olga Gambari, and Richard Flood. Kara Walker: A Negress of Noteworthy Talent. Torino: Fondazione Merz, 2011. http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/768397358
- The Art Story: Kara Walker, Modern Art Insight. 2016
- "The Stories We Tell - Full Episode". www.pbs.org. January 5, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
- Bravo, Doris Maria-Reina, "Kara Walker, Darkytown Rebellion", Khan Academy.
- "Esteemed Artist Kara Walker Named Tepper Chair". www.rutgers.edu.
- Shaw, Gwendolyn DuBois (2004). Speaking the Unspeakable: The Art of Kara Walker. Duke University Press. p. 12. ISBN 0-8223-3396-1.
- Belkove, Julie L. (March 2007). "History Girl". www.wmagazine.com. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on February 7, 2016. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
- "Kara Walker". Biography. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- Als, Hilton (October 8, 2007), "The Shadow Act", The New Yorker.
- "Looking at the History of the United States, Including the Shocking Parts". Archived from the original on September 14, 2011. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- Wilson, Flo, "On Walls and the Walkers", The International Review of African American Art 20.3: 17–19.
- "The Art of Kara Walker". Walker Art Center. Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved March 13, 2012.
- Cotter, Holland. "Black and White, but Never Simple". New York Times.
- Gopnik, Blake (April 25, 2014). "Rarely One for Sugarcoating Kara Walker Creates a Confection at the Domino Refinery". the New York Times. Retrieved February 6, 2016.
- "Kara Walker American Artist". The Art Story Foundation. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
- Kara Walker Archived May 25, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
- Finger, Brad (2011). 50 Contemporary Artists You Should Know. Germany: Prestel Verlag. p. 143. ISBN 978-3-7913-4530-7.
- Behrndt, Helle (2008). Kara Walker. Minneapolis: Danish Arts Council. p. 8. ISBN 978-87-7441-016-4.
- Cotter, Holland. "Kara Walker." The New York Times, n.d.
- "MacArthur Fellows/Meet the Class of 1997". www.macfound.org. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
- Cotter, Holland (October 12, 2007). "Kara Walker - Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love Whitney Museum of American Art - Art - Review". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
- "MoMA | Projects | 1999 | Conversations | Kara Walker". www.moma.org. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
- Sikkema Jenkins & Co.—Kara Walker
- Trotman, Krishan (July 2003). "Kara Walker electrifies the Studio Museum in Harlem". New York Amsterdam News. Archived from the original on 2014-10-20. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
- David D'Arcy (April 2006). "The Eyes of the Storm: Kara Walker on Hurricanes, Heroes and Villains". Modern Painters. Retrieved April 22, 2008.
- "Professor Kara Walker: Exhibition Opens at Lehmann Maupin, Sikkema Jenkins". Archived from the original on September 6, 2011. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- Loos, Ted (2018-02-21). "After a Blowup, Kara Walker Lets Off Steam in New Orleans (Published 2018)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-20.
- "Kara Walker - 53 Artworks, Bio & Shows on Artsy". www.artsy.net. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
- Kara Walker Pictures From Another Time, published in conjunction with the exhibition Kara Walker: An Abbreviated Emancipation (from The Emancipation Approximation)
- New School University Unveils “Event Horizon” the First Major Public Art Commission by Artist Kara Walker. Press release of April 26, 2005.
- "CreativeTime Presents Kara Walker". Creative Time, Inc. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
- Creative Time Projects. Kara Walker.
- "A Sonorous Subtlety: KARA WALKER with Kara Rooney", Brooklyn Rail, May 6, 2014.
- on YouTube.
- "Kara Walker - A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby". Artsy. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
- King, Jamilah (May 21, 2014). "The Overwhelming Whiteness of Black Art".
- Rea, Naomi. "Do You Find Europe's Grand Public Fountains Charming? Kara Walker's Spectacular Turbine Hall Commission May Change That". artnet news. Retrieved 28 Mar 2020.
- Smith, Zadie. "What Do We Want History to Do to Us?". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 28 Mar 2020.
- "Safety Curtain 1998/1999", museum in progress, Vienna.
- Jori Finkel (June 17, 2010), Mark Bradford leads Kara Walker, Cathy Opie and more to create online teacher resource for Getty, Los Angeles Times.
- Rozalia Jovanovic. "Clifford Owens and Kara Walker at MoMA PS1: An Epilogue With RoseLee Goldberg", Observer, March 15, 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), http://faculty.risd.edu/bcampbel/dubois-Censoreship.pdf [sic]
- Kramer, Jessica. "Kara Walker Addresses Art and Controversy at the Newark Public Library". Retrieved April 26, 2014.
- Carter, Barry (December 2, 2012). "Censorship or common decency? Newark Library covers up controversial artwork". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- Carter, Barry (January 20, 2013). "Controversial painting in Newark Library is bared once again". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
- Hunter, Drohojowska-philp (October 31, 1999). "Art & Architecture; Reframing a black experience; Kara Walker's images Stir Devte in the African American Community on Whether they Enlighten or Degrade". Los Angeles Times. Newspaper. ProQuest 421566885.[dead link]
- Mary Chou. Walker, Kara. The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art, Vol. 5, p.p. 139-140
- "Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love". walkerart.org. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
- "Home - Hammer Museum". The Hammer Museum. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
- agence, GAYA - La nouvelle. "City of Paris Museum of Modern Art |". www.mam.paris.fr. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
- "Archive - Camden Arts Centre". archive.camdenartscentre.org. Retrieved 2020-03-30.
- "Kara Walker | Art Exhibitions | The MAC Belfast". themaclive.com. Retrieved 2020-03-30.
- Seals, Tyra A. (2016). "Exhibition: The Ecstasy of St. Kara".
- Elizabeth, Walker, Kara (2016). The ecstasy of St. Kara. Smith, Tracy K.,, Griswold, William,, Thüring, Reto,, Rutland, Beau,, Lansdowne, John (Art historian), Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH. ISBN 9780300227154. OCLC 959417933.
- Pinckney, Darryl, "Black Lives Matter" (on Kara Walker: Sikkema Jenkins and Co. is Compelled to present The most Astounding and Important Painting show of the fall Art Show viewing season!), New York Review of Books, November 9, 2017.
- Tate. "Hyundai Commission: Kara Walker – Exhibition at Tate Modern". Tate. Retrieved 2019-08-06.
- Walker, Kara (January 24, 2017). "African-American". Minneapolis Institute of Art.
- Kara Walker in AskArt.com
- "Kara Walker Collection". tate. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
- "30 Americans: Kara Walker". Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
- "Home - The Menil Collection". The Menil Collection. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
- "Kara Walker, American, born 1969 - Freedom Fighters for the Society of Forgotten Knowledge, Northern Domestic Scene - The Menil Collection - The Menil Collection". The Menil Collection. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
- "You Cannot Win, (Ink wash and graphite on white wove paper)". Curators at Work III. Muscarelle Museum of Art. 2013. Retrieved 26 Jun 2018.[permanent dead link]
- Julia Szabo (March 23, 1997), "Kara Walker's Shock Art", New York Times Magazine.
- Solange James (January 24, 2008). "Art Critique: Kara Walker". Copious Magazine.
- Barbara Kruger (2007) "Kara Walker" Time online. Retrieved July 26, 2007.
- Visual Arts Faculty Kara Walker Inducted into The American Academy of Arts and Letters Archived February 26, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Columbia University School of the Arts, March 20, 2012.
- "Election of New Members at the 2018 Spring Meeting", American Philosophical Society, April 28, 2018
- www.absoluto.de, martin weise //. "db artmag - all the news on Deutsche Bank Art / db artmag - alle Infos zur Kunst der Deutschen Bank". db-artmag.com. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
- Kara Walker: Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi's Blue Tale, April 21 – June 25, 2011 Archived February 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York.
- "Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love — Calendar — Walker Art Center". www.walkerart.org. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
- "Kara Walker Named 2005 Larry Aldrich Award Recipient". www.aldrichart.org. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
- Doreen St. Félix (April 16, 2017), "Kara Walker’s Next Act", New York Magazine.
- Oler, Tammy (October 31, 2019). "57 Champions of Queer Feminism, All Name-Dropped in One Impossibly Catchy Song". Slate Magazine.
- Julie L. Belcove (March 2007), History Girl Archived 2016-02-07 at the Wayback Machine W.
- Klaus Bürgel, January 27 - March 17, 1999 Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco.
- Curtis, Cathy (November 12, 1997), "Finding Direction: A Fantasy Self Put Artist Kara Walker on the Path to Personal, Professional Identity", Los Angeles Times.
- Blake Gopnik (April 25, 2014), "Rarely One for Sugarcoating: Kara Walker Creates a Confection at the Domino Refinery", The New York Times.
- Foundation for Contemporary Arts Announces 2011 Grants to Artists Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA), press release of January 2011.
- "Foundation for Contemporary Arts Announces 2016 Grants to Artists", Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA), press release of January 19, 2016.
- Hans Werner Holzwarth, ed. (2008). Art Now, Vol. 3: A cutting-edge selection of today's most exciting artists. Taschen. p. 488. ISBN 978-3-8365-0511-6.
- Goldbaum, Karen, ed. Kara Walker: Pictures From Another Time. Seattle: Marquand Books, Inc. ISBN 1-891024-50-7
- Smith, Zadie. "What Do We Want History to Do to Us?" The New York Review of Books, February 27, 2020. https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2020/02/27/kara-walker-what-do-we-want-history-to-do-to-us/
- Vergne, Phillppe. Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center. ISBN 978-0-935640-86-1
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