Crocker Art Museum announces Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power

Crocker Art Museum presents Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power an exhibition on view SEPTEMBER 22, 2013 – JANUARY 5, 2014.

Art21 artist Kara Walker is known for her powerful visual narratives exploring the intersection of race, gender, and sexuality. Her thought-provoking and raw approach to these issues has garnered acclaim as well as controversy. Particularly explosive is the manner in which she examines the psychology of slavery, creating fictional narratives—after the 19th-century tradition of the slave narrative—that also travel the terrain of damaging and unspeakable desires. To make her pursuit compelling, Walker radically reinvented the 19th-century silhouette portrait, elevating the practice of tracing onto and cutting out black paper figures into a formidable, grand format for her “nightmarish fictions.” The graphic nature of the artist’s work, both in content and format, moves from the wall to moving picture in this presentation of a silhouette, drawings, prints, and video. Select works from the collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation span Walker’s artistic practice, among them two complete series of oversized prints: The Emancipation Approximation and Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated).