Kara Walker—Deutsche Bank Collection
May 17–July 7, 2002
Stark, unadorned, black-and-white sihouettes: at first glance, Kara Walker's work may appear to be simple, yet its message is anything but. Her images—based on the visual language of the antebellum South—force the viewer to confront questions of social injustice, gender inequalities, and the brutal and often repressed history of American race relations. Deliberately provocative and often bitterly saracastic, Walker's tableaux are populated by figures enacting irreverent, erotic, and sometimes violent scenarios. The paper cutout technique, derived from the old craft of silhouetting, is subverted into a powerful means for uncovering the sometimes subtle but always inescapable presence of racist and sexist stereotypes.
Kara Walker, Influence of the Recent Dead, 2001. Mixed-media and paper on wood, 5 7/8 x 5 7/8 inches. Deutsche Guggenheim, Courtesy Brent Sikkema, New York