Cut paper and adhesive on wall, Brent Sikkema NYC.
November 26, 1969 |
Stockton, California, U.S.
|Education||Rhode Island School of Design|
|Known for||Conceptual Art Multimedia Art Text Art Painting Printmaking Collage|
Kara Walker (born November 26, 1969) is a contemporary African-American artist 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 lives in New York and is on the faculty of the MFA program at Rutgers University.
- 1 Background
- 2 Career
- 3 Exhibitions
- 4 Collections
- 5 Recognition
- 6 Art market
- 7 Personal life
- 8 References in popular culture
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
Walker was born in Stockton, California in 1969. Her retired father, Larry Walker, is a formally educated artist, a professor, and an administrator. Her mother worked as an administrative assistant.
“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.” —Kara Walker
Kara Walker moved to her father's native Georgia at the age of 13 when he accepted a position at Georgia State University. She received her BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in 1991 and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994. Walker first came to art world 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 unusual cut-paper silhouette mural, presenting an old-timey south filled with sex and slavery was an instant hit. At the age of 27 she became the second youngest recipient of the coveted John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” grant, second only to renowned Mayanist David Stuart. In 2007 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. Walker currently lives in New York, where she has been a professor of visual arts in the MFA program at Columbia University since 2001. Influences include Andy Warhol, with his omnivorous eye and moral distance; and Robert Colescott, who inserted cartoonish Dixie sharecroppers into his version of Vincent van Gogh’s Dutch peasant cottages.
Walker was afraid to address race during college and didn't start inviting this topic into her art until attending Rhode island School of Design for her masters. There was a distinct worry that having race be the nucleus of Walker's content, it would be received as "typical" or "obvious"to address the elephant in the room.In an article in the Boston Globe written by Edgar Allen Beem it's described that not only did Walker's families move down south in her youth contribute to her later work , because she saw intense discrimination, but also Kara's personal relationships. Walker's interracial relationship ended up being to an extent traumatic thus resulting in her feeling even more like the "other". Kara's sexual relationships with white men that left her with a feeling of disconnect with herself are also part of what charges the sexual content in her silhouettes. America is only about 200 years old yet slavery was in North America for over 245 years, and yet is swept under the rug, because it's uncomfortable. Kara Walker is disinterested about the readers discomfort regarding the art, in fact Walker feels it's a necessity. The art itself depicts a larger theme of what humans are capable of. It's recognition of how humans can and have treated one another and exposes the darkest side of human behavior." The tone of Walker's art offers up for critique the problem of the broader culture's inability to come to terms with the past."
||This article may be confusing or unclear to readers. (June 2015)|
Beginning with Gone: An Historical Romance of Civil War as it Occurred Between the Dusky Thighs of a Young Negress and Her Heart (1994), Walker became 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. Walker has produced works in ochre gouaches, video animation, shadow puppets, and "magic-lantern" projections, as well as a number of black-paper silhouettes, perhaps her most recognizable works to date. 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 visual language is applicable throughout the world, and reminds us of the power of art to defy conventions. Her exploration of American racism can be applied to other countries and cultures regarding relations between race and gender.
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 African American slaves 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.Through the use of physical stereotypes, such as flatter profiles,bigger lips,straighter nose , longer hair, help 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. Kara depicts the inequalities and mistreatment of African Americans by their white counterparts.Viewers at the Studio Museum in Harlem looked sickly, shocked, and some appealed upon seeing her exhibition.However this is nothing new for her art often receives such reactions.Thelma , the museum's chief curator said : " Throughout her career, Kara 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.”
Walker debuted a public exhibition at the The Drawing Center in New York City in 1994. Her installation Gone: An Historical Romance of a Civil War as it Occurred between the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart "polarized the New York art world".
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 off of 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.
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 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 disused Domino Sugar Refinery in Brooklyn and commissioned by Creative Time. The exhibition consisted of a giant female sphinx, measuring approximately 80-feet long by 40-feet high, and several life-size child-like figures, dubbed attendants. The sphinx was made by covering a polystyrene core with machine-cut blocks of white sugar, which were then further cut by hand and smoothed with a sugar slurry. Domino donated 80 tons of sugar for Walker's piece. The smaller figures were cast from boiled sugar (similar to hard candy) and had a dark amber or black coloring. The attendants were modelled after some figurines that Walker had purchased on Amazon.com. After the exhibition closes in July, the refinery will be demolished as had been planned before the show.
For the season 1998/1999 in the Vienna State Opera Kara 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 in appropriateness for the reading room where it was hung. The piece was covered but not removed in December 2012. After some discussion among employees and trustees the work was again revealed. Kara Walker visited the New Jersey Newark Public Library to discuss the work and the controversy that went with it. Walker did not stray away from the difficult subjects such as race and history. The artist Betye Saar thinks Kara's work is "revolting and negative and a form of betrayal to the slaves..[and] basically for the amusement and investment of the White art establishment." Saar voiced this on the PBS documentary I'll Make Me a World in 1999. In the summer of 1997 Saar emailed 200 fellow artists, and politicians to warn and voice her dislike and negative opinion about Kara Walker's work. The protesters questioned the “negative images” (by which was meant the deprecating and regressive nature of the blackness displayed.) In their eyes, Walker’s version of blackness was a kind of “pandering, a minstrel performance dishing out unmediated stereotypes to whites.”
One of Kara Walker’s recent exhibitions entitled “A Subtlety” has caused some controversy and opposing views. Responses to the “Marvelous Sugar Baby” are varied with some people knowing the purposely over the top antics of Walker and others are taken aback and feel that it is mocking the history of the descendants of slaves through a black woman’s body. They also feel that the overt art is taking away from what Walker is trying to truly convey. Roberta Smith, in her New York Times article calls it, “…beautiful, brazen and disturbing…” In an article written by Nicholas Powers, he explains why he yelled, “You are recreating the very racism this art is supposed to critique…” His main concern was that white visitors “would not see me or the violent history the art reflected”. He is very concerned about it being just a sculptor of a black woman’s body with various parts being laughed at while taking pictures.
Art that is tackling centuries old issues will always be unsettling and it is very important that the artist’s description of their own work be taken into consideration before judging the work. In her own words, Kara Walker has said that her work deals with history. Within that frame she has a desire for a hero that can fix the problem of history and racism. She feels that her work is not effectively dealing with history but feels, rather, that it is subsumed or consumed by history. For the “Marvelous Sugar Baby” she is using an old sugar factory that is speaking with the work. Slaves were used to produce sugar in the Caribbean. More so their bodies were used for this commodity that was for the elite and benefitted their owners. For Walker she is displaying the bodies that were used to produce this commodity and paying them respect and tribute by telling their story.
Sources http://indypendent.org/2014/06/30/why-i-yelled-kara-walker-exhibit http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/12/arts/design/a-subtlety-or-the-marvelous-sugar-baby-at-the-domino-plant.html?_r=0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRkP5rcXtys
Some of Walker's exhibitions have been shown at The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, The Renaissance Society in Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, and the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2002 she was chosen to represent the United States in the São Paulo Biennial in Brazil. 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 and several other cities.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
- 2014: Creative Time, Brooklyn, NY.
- 2014: Anything but Civil: Kara Walker's Vision of the Old South, Saint Louis Art Museum.
- 2014: Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker's Tales of Slavery and Power, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Eugene, OR.
- 2013: Kara Walker, Camden Arts Centre.
- 2013: Kara Walker: Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War, Pace Master Prints.
- 2013: Kara Walker: Rise Up Ye Mighty Race!, The Art Institute of Chicago.
- 2012: Kara Walker: More & Less, Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College.
- 2011: Kara Walker: Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi's Blue, Lehman Maupin, Chrystie Street.
- Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY.
- 2011: Kara Walker: A Negress of Noteworthy Talent, Fondazione Merz, Torino, Italy.
- 2010: Kara Walker: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), Cincinnati Art Museum, OH.
- 2009: Mark Bradford, Kara Walker, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY.
- 2009: Kara Walker: Estampes, Galerie Lelong, Paris.
- 2008: Kara Walker: The Black Road, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Malaga, Spain.
- 2007: Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; traveled to Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles, CA; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX.
- 2006: Kara Walker at the Met: After the Deluge, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.
- 2005: Song of the South, The Roy and Edna Disney / CalArts Theater, Los Angeles, CA.
- 2004: Grub for Sharks: A Concession to the Negro Populace, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.
- 2003: Kara Walker: Narratives of a Negress, The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York
- 2002: Kara Walker, Slavery!, Slavery!, 25th Bienal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
- 2002: Kara Walker: Nat Turner’s Revelation (an Important Lesson from our Negro Past You Will Likely Forget To Remember), Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin, Germany
- 2002: Kara Walker: An Abbreviated Emancipation (from the Emancipation Approximation), University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Michigan
- 2002: Kara Walker: For the Benefit of All the Rages of Mankind, An Exhibition of Artifacts, Remnants, and Effluvia EXCAVATED from the Black Heart of a Negress, Kunstverein Hannover, Hannover, Germany
- 2001: Kara Walker, Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
- 2001: American Primitive, Brent Sikkema, New York, New York
- 2001: Kara Walker: The Emancipation Approximation, A Series of Silhouette Prints, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel
- 2001: Disturbing Allegories, Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee
- 2000: Kara Walker: Fantasies of Disbelief, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa
- 2000: Why I Like White Boys, an Illustrated Novel by Kara E. Walker Negress, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland
- 1999: African’t, Galleri Index, Stockholm, Sweden
- 1999: Kara Walker: 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 so brings about their physical Ruin and earthly Demise, Capp Street Project at the Oliver Art Center, California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, California
- 1999: Another Fine Mess, Brent Sikkema, New York, New York
- 1999: Kara Walker, The McKinney Avenue Contemporary, Dallas, Texas
- 1998: Kara Walker, Wooster Gardens/Brent Sikkema, New York, New York
- 1998: Kara Walker, Forum for Contemporary Art, St. Louis, Missouri
- 1998: Kara Walker: Prints, The Print Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- 1998: Opera Safety Curtain for 1998-99 Season, Vienna State Opera House, Vienna, Austria
- 1997: Kara Walker, Huntington Beach Arts Center, Huntington Beach, California
- 1997: Kara Walker: Upon My Many Masters—An Outline, The Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California
- 1997: Presenting Negro Scenes Drawn Upon My Passage Through the South and Reconfigured for the Benefit of Enlightened Audiences Wherever Such May Be Found, by Myself, Missus K.E.B. Walker, Colored, The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
- 1997: May Be Found, By Myself, Missus K.E.B. Walker, Colored, The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
- 1996: From the Bowels to the Bosom, Wooster Gardens/Brent Sikkema, New York, New York
- 1996: Ol’ Marster Paintin’s and Silhouette Cuttings, Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts
- 1995: Look Away! Look Away! Look Away! Kara Elizabeth Walker, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
- 1995: The Battle of Atlanta: Being the Narrative of a Negress in the Flames of Desire—A Reconstruction, Nexus Contemporary Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia
- 1995: The High and Soft Laughter of the N***** Wenches At Night, Wooster Gardens/Brent Sikkema, New York, New York
Selected Group Exhibitions
- 2015: Represent: 200 Years of African American Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia.
- 2014: When the Stars Begin to Fall, Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale.
- 2014: African American Art After 1950: Perspectives from the David D. Driskell Center, Figg Art Museum.
- 2014: The Intuitionists, The Drawing Center.
- 2011: Race and Representation: The African American Presence in American Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC.
- Watch Me Move: The Animation Show, Barbican Art Gallery, London; Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Canada; Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan; National Science and Technology Museum, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
- 2010: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles,CA.
- In Context, Apartheid Museum (in conjunction with other venues), Johannesburg, South Africa.
- The Dissolve, Site Santa Fe Eighth International Biennial, Site Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM.
- Abstract Resistance, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN: Feb. 27 – May 23, 2010
- Progress Reports: Art in an Era of Diversity, Invia (Institute of International Visual Arts), London, UK.
- From then to Now: Masterworks of Contemporary African American Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, OH.
- Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK.; CGAC: Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
- Brave New World, MUDAM Luxembourg, Luxembourg.
- Huckleberry Finn, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA.
- Soaps, Flukes and Follies, Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, Nashville, TN.
- Cut. Scherenschnitte 1970-2010, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany.
- 2009: Investigations of a Dog: Works from the FACE Collections, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy; Ellipse Foundation, Cascais, Portugal; La maison rouge – Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Paris, France; Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden; DESTE Foundation, Athens, Greece.
- A Guest + A Host = A Ghost: Works from the Dakis Joannou Collection. Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece.
- Between Art and Life: The Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Collection, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA.
- The Glamour Project, Lehmann Maupin, New York, NY.
- Slash: Paper Under the Knife, Museum of Art and Design, New York, NY.
- Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection, MoMA, New York, NY.
- America, Beirut Art Center, Beirut, Lebanon.
- Modern and Contemporary Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH.
- In Praise of Shadows, IMMA Dublin, Ireland; Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Istanbul, Turkey; Museum Benaki, Athens,Greece.
- The Old Weird America: Folk Themes in Contemporary Art, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston TX; Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum,University of Minnesota, MN, August; de Cordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA.
- Black Womanhood: Images, Icons, and Ideologies of the African Body. Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH,; Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA; San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA.
- Order. Desire. Light: An Exhibition of Contemporary Drawings, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland.
- Freedom: American Sculpture, The Hague Sculpture 2008, The Hague, The Netherlands.
- Las Vegas Collects Contemporary, Las Vegas Art Museum, Las Vegas, NV.
- The Puppet Show, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX; Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA.
- Houston Collects: African American Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX.
- 2008: Cinema Remixed & Reloaded: Black Women Artists and the Moving Image since 1970, Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA; traveled to Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX.
- 2007: 52nd Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy.
- 2006: Legacies: Contemporary Artists Reflect on Slavery, New York Historical Society, New York, NY.
- 2005: The World is a Stage: Stories behind Pictures, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan.
- 2004: Nous Venons en Paix…, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, Canada.
- 2002: Drawing Now: Eight Propositions, The Museum of Modern Art in Queens, Queens, NY.
- 2001: Form Follows Fiction, Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin, Italy.
Among the public collections holding work by Kara Walker are the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Baltimore Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Honolulu Museum of Art; the Missoula Art Museum (Missoula, MT); the Seattle Art Museum; the University of Michigan Museum of Art (Ann Arbor, MI); the Weisman Art Museum (Minneapolis, MN); the Musée d’art moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg; the Tate Collection, London; and the The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. 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 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 Sciences. Walker is also the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships such as the Deutsche Bank Prize and the Larry Aldrich Award.
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 has since divorced, and Walker moved to New York in 2003. She maintains a studio in the Garment District, Manhattan and a country home in rural Massachusetts.
References in popular culture
Vancouver band Destroyer's 2011 album Kaputt includes the track "Suicide Demo for Kara Walker", which features lyrics that were cut up from text on cue cards sent by Walker to singer-songwriter Dan Bejar.
- Shaw, Gwendolyn DuBois (2004). Speaking the Unspeakable: The Art of Kara Walker. Duke University Press. p. 12. ISBN 0-8223-3396-1.
- Julie L. Belcove (March 2007), History Girl W.
- "Looking at the History of the United States, Including the Shocking Parts". Retrieved 2012-03-25.
- Flo Wilson, “On Walls and the Walkers,” The International Review of African American Art 20.3: 17–19
- Blake Gopnik (April 25, 2014), Rarely One for Sugarcoating: Kara Walker Creates a Confection at the Domino Refinery New York Times.
- "The Art of Kara Walker". Walker Art Center. Retrieved 2012-03-13.
- Cotter, Holland. "Kara Walker." The New York Times, n.d.
- Beem, Edgar Allen (Dec 30, 2001). "On The Cutting Edge Or Over The Line? Kara Walker Is Gifted, Angry, And Subjected To Criticism For Exploiting Racial Stereotypes In Her Art. The Maine Resident Is Aslo Soft Spoken And Unsettled By Her Own Success: Third Edition". Boston Globe. newspaper. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- Kara Walker Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
- Holzwarth 488
- 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.
- Sikkema Jenkins & Co.—Kara Walker
- Trotman, Krishan (July 2003). "Kara Walker electrifies the Studio Museum in Harlem". New York Amsterdam News. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- David D'Arcy (April 2006). "The Eyes of the Storm: Kara Walker on Hurricanes, Heroes and Villains". Modern Painters. Retrieved 2008-04-22
- "Professor Kara Walker: Exhibition Opens at Lehmann Maupin, Sikkema Jenkins.". Retrieved 2012-03-25.
- New School University Unveils “Event Horizon” the First Major Public Art Commission by Artist Kara Walker Press release of April 26, 2005.
- Creative Time Projects. Kara Walker.
- "A Sonorous Subtlety: KARA WALKER with Kara Rooney." Brooklyn Rail. May 6th, 2014.
- Walker: "A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby" on YouTube
- "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.
- "Clifford Owens and Kara Walker at MoMA PS1: An Epilogue With RoseLee Goldberg," Rozalia Jovanovic. Observer. Gallerist.
- , http://faculty.risd.edu/bcampbel/dubois-Censoreship.pdf [sic]
- Carter, Barry (December 2, 2012). "Censorship or common decency? Newark Library covers up controversial artwork". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
- Carter, Barry (January 20, 2013). "Controversial painting in Newark Library is bared once again". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2012-01-20.
- Kramer, Jessica. "Kara Walker Addresses Art and Controversy at the Newark Public Library". Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- Hunter, Drohojowska-philp (Oct 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. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
- Berry, Ian (2003). KARA WALKER Narratives of a NEGRESS. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. p. 92. ISBN 9780262025409.
- Carol Vogel (December 28, 2001), Artist Is Chosen New York Times.
- Kara Walker: Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi's Blue Tale, April 21 – June 25, 2011 Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York.
- Kara Walker in AskArt.com
- "30 Americans: Kara Walker.". Retrieved 2012-03-25.
- Julia Szabo (March 23, 1997), Kara Walker's Shock Art New York Times Magazine.
- Hilton Als, "The Shadow Act", The New Yorker, October 8, 2007.
- Solange James (January 24, 2008). "Art Critique: Kara Walker". Copious Magazine.
- Barbara Kruger (2007) "Kara Walker" Time online. Retrieved 26 July 2007
- Visual Arts Faculty Kara Walker Inducted into The American Academy of Arts and Letters Columbia University School of the Arts, March 20, 2012.
- Victoria Miro signs up four more artists The Art Newspaper, 8 June 2014.
- Klaus Bürgel, January 27 - March 17, 1999 Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco.
- Cathy Curtis (November 12, 1997), [articles.latimes.com/1997/nov/12/entertainment/ca-52774 Finding Direction: A Fantasy Self Put Artist Kara Walker on the Path to Personal, Professional Identity] Los Angeles Times.
- Daniel Bejar forces listeners to hear Kara Walker's words from a different angle on ‘Suicide Demo for Kara Walker' Los Angeles Times.
- 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
- Vergne, Phillppe. Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center. ISBN 978-0-935640-86-1
- 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
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).
- Vergne, Philippe, et al. Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2007.
- The Time 100: Time Magazine's Profile of Kara Walker
- Biography, interviews, essays, artwork images and video clips from PBS series Art:21 -- Art in the Twenty-First Century - Season 2 (2003)
- Interview with Kara Walker and Larry Walker in The Oral History Project for Bomb_(magazine)
- Interview with Kara Walker on YouTube
- An interview with Kara Walker
- Biographical, press, and works information
- Kara Walker's work information at the Walker Art Center
- Kara Walker's exhibition at The Renaissance Society, 1997
- Kara Walker's 2007 Whitney Exhibit
- Kara E. Walker's Song of the South at REDCAT
- A Horrible Beautiful Beast
- Review of Kara Walker's work in Huckleberry Finn at CCA Wattis ICA, San Francisco