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Betye Saar

Window of Ancient Sirens, 1979

Assemblage
14 3/4 × 24 3/4 in
37.5 × 62.9 cm
About the work
Exhibition history
Medium
Mixed Media
Image rights
The Studio Museum in Harlem; Gift of Wynn and Sally Kramarsky, New York. Photo: Marc Bernier
Betye Saar
American, b. 1926
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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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View in room
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Save
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view
View in room
share
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About the work
Exhibition history
Medium
Mixed Media
Image rights
The Studio Museum in Harlem; Gift of Wynn and Sally Kramarsky, New York. Photo: Marc Bernier
Betye Saar
American, b. 1926
Follow

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.

Betye Saar

Window of Ancient Sirens, 1979

Assemblage
14 3/4 × 24 3/4 in
37.5 × 62.9 cm
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Assemblage
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