Kara Walker b. 1969
Born in Stockton, California and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Kara Walker studied at the Atlanta College of Art (BFA, 1991) and the Rhode Island School of Design (MFA, 1994). A childhood spent watching her father, an artist, draw and paint inspired her to pursue art as a career. Walker is best known for the raw, visceral, and controversial nature of her creations that focus on race, gender and sexuality. She often works in panoramic friezes of cut-paper silhouettes, a traditionally proper Victorian medium, creating theatrical spaces and physically immersive narratives addressing the history of American slavery and racism. Her work does not shy away from the truths of America’s dark past; instead, unruly figures fornicate, fight, and violate each other, forcing the viewer to grapple with the brutality of racism and inequality.
Walker is also a painter, printmaker, installation artist, and filmmaker. She is the recipient of many awards, notably the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Achievement Award in 1997 and the United States Artists, Eileen Harris Norton Fellowship in 2008. In 2012, Walker became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and can be found in museums and public collections throughout the United States and Europe including The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Tate Gallery, London, the Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo (MAXXI), Rome, and Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt.
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