This autumn, the acclaimed African-American artist, Kara Walker (b. 1969) brings to London her room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes and intricate shadow works which critically explore America's underlying racial and gender tensions. They address the highly-charged themes of power, repression, violence, history and sexuality. For her much-anticipated first major solo show in the UK, Walker has filled Camden Arts Centre
s galleries with the process of her art from large scale graphite drawings and video to new cut paper pieces which will be produced on-site. Kara Walker runs at Camden Arts Centre from 11 October 2013 until 5 January 2014 and admission is free.
Connecting all of her work is an examination of power. Through characters drawn from American popular literature, culture and history, Walkers art exposes the darker aspects of human behaviour and the continuing power struggles at play. Currently researching the White Supremacist movement and gun culture in the US, her new works are peopled with characters from both past and contemporary history, merging historical documents of slavery with more recent racial tensions.
Walkers exhibition at Camden Arts Centre brings together two important bodies of recent work. Her Dust Jackets for the Niggerati series of large graphite drawings, conceived as book covers for unwritten essays and works of fiction, investigate pivotal transitions in black American history and the missing narratives of the black migration. Shown alongside the video installation of her challenging shadow play Fall Frum Grace-Miss Pipis Blue Tale and other new works, including her wall samplers, wall mounted paper cut outs with mini narratives featuring Civil War Revisionists and Savages, the exhibition is an exciting opportunity for a British audience to engage with Walkers thought-provoking works.
Kara Walker was born in 1969 in Stockton, California, and grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She graduated from the Atlanta College of Art in 1991 and received her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994. She currently lives and works in New York.
Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at Art Institute Chicago, Chicago, IL (2013); Saint Louis Art Museum, St Louis, MO (2012); Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland (2011); CAC Málaga, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Spain and MDD - Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens in Deurle, Belgium (both 2008); The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; ARC/ Musée dArt moderne de la Ville de Paris, France; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth (2007/2008); and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York ( 2006). She participated in the 52nd Venice International Biennale in 2007 and was the United States representative to the 25th International São Paulo Biennial in Brazil in 2002.