Betye Saar, ‘Sock it to Em'’, 2011, Fondazione Prada

Photo Robert Wedemeyer

About Betye Saar

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.

American, b. 1926, Los Angeles, California, based in Los Angeles, California

Group Shows

2017
the Landing, 
Los Angeles ,
2015
Museum of Modern Art, 
New York, NY, United States,
Take an Object
2015
Sonce Alexander Gallery, 
Los Angeles,
AFTER LIVING IN THE ROOM OF RÉALITÉS NOUVELLES
2014
New York, NY, United States,
RISING UP/UPRISING: Twentieth Century African American Art
2012
2012
New York, NY, United States,
INsite/INchelsea: The Inaugural Exhibition
2005
New York, NY, United States,
Eye Contact: Painting and Drawing in American Art
2004
New York, NY, United States,
Embracing the Muse: Africa and African American Art
View Artist's CV