Kara Walker, ‘Untitled (Canisters)’, 1997, Artware Editions

About Kara Walker

Kara Walker is known for creating black-and-white silhouette works that invoke themes of African American racial identity. Her subjects, often scenes of slavery, conflict or violence, are rendered in a style recalling traditional African illustration and folklore of the pre-Civil War United States; the works preserve and draw critical attention to these earlier cultural epochs. Working in collage, Walker cuts out and affixes black or white paper directly to gallery walls, and utilizes light projectors to cast viewers’ own shadows into her silhouetted narratives, creating a deeply engaging experience. Despite the oftentimes sombre nature of her subjects, Walker relies on humor and viewer interaction. “I didn’t want a completely passive viewer,” she has said. “I wanted to make work where the viewer wouldn’t walk away; he would either giggle nervously, get pulled into history, into fiction, into something totally demeaning and possibly very beautiful.”

American, b. 1969, Stockton, California, based in New York, New York

Group Shows

2018
Cape Town,
In Context: this past was waiting for me
2018
2018
Museum of the City of New York, 
New York, NY, USA,
Art in the Open
2005
Phoenix,
ART 21: Art in the Twenty-first Century, an exhibition based on the PBS series that examined power, memory, structures and play in art.

Fair History on Artsy

2018
Sikkema Jenkins & Co. at Frieze New York 2018
2017
Sikkema Jenkins & Co. at Art Basel in Miami Beach 2017
View Artist's CV