Betye Saar

American, b. 1926

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Betye Saar

American, b. 1926

1,372
Followers
Biography

Inspired by Joseph Cornell’s assemblages and Simon Rodia’s Los Angeles monuments, the Watts Towers (made from found scrap materials), Betye Saar’s work mixes surreal, symbolic imagery with a folk art aesthetic. As a participant in the robust African-American Los Angeles art scene of the 1970s, Saar appropriated characters such as Aunt Jemima, Uncle Tom, and other stereotypes from folk culture and advertising in her works—usually collages and assemblages. African tribal mysticism, history, memory, and nostalgia are also important for Saar. She was invited to participate in “Pacific Standard Time,” a 2011 survey of influential LA artists, for which she created Red Time, an installation of her assemblages from both past and present that explored the relationship between personal and collective history. “I'm the kind of person who recycles materials but I also recycle emotions and feelings,” she explains.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
MOCA Los Angeles, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 5 more
Biography

Inspired by Joseph Cornell’s assemblages and Simon Rodia’s Los Angeles monuments, the Watts Towers (made from found scrap materials), Betye Saar’s work mixes surreal, symbolic imagery with a folk art aesthetic. As a participant in the robust African-American Los Angeles art scene of the 1970s, Saar appropriated characters such as Aunt Jemima, Uncle Tom, and other stereotypes from folk culture and advertising in her works—usually collages and assemblages. African tribal mysticism, history, memory, and nostalgia are also important for Saar. She was invited to participate in “Pacific Standard Time,” a 2011 survey of influential LA artists, for which she created Red Time, an installation of her assemblages from both past and present that explored the relationship between personal and collective history. “I'm the kind of person who recycles materials but I also recycle emotions and feelings,” she explains.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
MOCA Los Angeles, and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 5 more
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