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Kara Walker and her room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes.

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Kara Walker is best known for her room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes that examine the underbelly of America's racial and gender tensions. Her works often address such highly charged themes as power, repression, history, race, and sexuality. Born in Stockton, California, Walker moved to the South at age 13 when her father, artist Larry Walker, accepted a position at Georgia State University and her family relocated to Stone Mountain, a suburb of Atlanta. ...read more.


and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's "genius" grant, which launched a public controversy around her work. In 2002 she was chosen to represent the United States in the S�o Paulo Biennial in Brazil. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is included in the collections of major museums worldwide. The 2007 Walker Art Center-organized exhibition Kara Walker: My Complement, My Oppressor, My Enemy, My Love is the artist's first full-scale U.S. museum survey. Walker currently lives in New York, where she is a professor of visual arts in the MFA program at Columbia University. ...read more.


This material eliminates the need for her to create skin tones and effectively renders all of her figures "black." For these pieces, as well as her watercolours and drawings, the racial status assigned to her characters is visible through stereotype and caricature. (See Humour.) For Walker, using the silhouette came from, in part, her thinking about what it means for groups of people to define themselves through images. This is a personal interest of the artist, who says that making artwork about race translates into intimate issues about identity. ...read more.

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