Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love

Front Cover
Philippe Vergne, Sander L. Gilman, Walker Art Center, Whitney Museum of American Art
Walker Art Center, 2007 - Art - 418 pages
Kara Walker is among the most complex and prolific American artists of her generation. Over the past decade, she has gained international recognition for her room-sized tableaux, which depict historical narratives haunted by sexuality, violence and subjugation and are made using the paradoxically genteel eighteenth-century art of cut-paper silhouettes. Set in the antebellum American South, Walker's compositions play off of stereotypes to portray, often grotesquely, life on the plantation, where masters, mistresses and slave men, women and children enact a subverted version of the past in an attempt to reconfigure their status and representation. Over the years, the artist has used drawing, painting, colored-light projections, writing, shadow puppetry, and, most recently, film animation to narrate her tales of romance, sadism, oppression and liberation. Her scenarios thwart conventional readings of a cohesive national history and expose the collective, and ongoing, psychological injury caused by the tragic legacy of slavery. Deploying an acidic sense of humor, Walker examines the dialectics of pleasure and danger, guilt and fulfillment, desire and fear, race and class. This landmark publication, which is sure to win international design awards, accompanies Walker's first major American museum survey. It features critical essays by Philippe Vergne, Sander L. Gilman, Thomas McEvilley, Robert Storr and Kevin Young, as well as an illustrated lexicon of recurring themes and motifs in the artist's most influential installations by Yasmil Raymond, more than 200 full-color images, an extensive exhibition history and bibliography, and a 36-page insert by the artist.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Foreword
1
The Black Saint Is the Sinner Lady by Philippe Vergnc
7
Confessions of an Academic Pomographer by Sander L Oilman
27
Copyright

26 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2007)

Kara Walker was born in Stockton, California in 1969. She received a BFA from the Atlanta College of Art in 1991 and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994. The artist is best known for exploring the raw intersection of race, gender, and sexuality through her iconic, silhouetted figures. Walker's work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. A 1997 recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Achievement Award, Walker was the United States representative to the 2002 Sao Paolo Bienal in Brazil. A full-scale museum survey opened at the Walker Art Center in February 2007. Walker currently lives in New York where she is on the faculty of the MFA program at Columbia University.

Bibliographic information