Kara Walker: A Black Hole Is Every­thing a Star Longs to Be

Schirn Kunsthall , Frankfurt am Main, Germany
15 Oct 2021 - 16 Jan 2021

Kara Walker, 'merica 2016, 2018, From the series The Gross Clinician Presents: Pater Gravidam, graphite, sumi ink, gofun and gouache on paper, 56.52 x 76.2 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel, Kupferstichkabinett © Kara Walker

Kara Walker (*1969) is one of the most prolific US-Amer­ican artists of our time. Her monu­mental, wall-span­ning silhou­ettes and expan­sive sculp­tures, focusing explic­itly and provoca­tively on racism, sexism, oppres­sion, and violence, have made head­lines. For the exhi­bi­tion “A Black Hole Is Every­thing a Star Longs to Be” in the SCHIRN, the artist has, for the first time, opened up her exten­sive archive of draw­ings and is presenting about 650 graphic works and a selec­tion of films. The fact that Walker works on paper is central. She makes use of the most varied styles, tech­niques, and refer­ences with great virtu­osity. Her inti­mate sketches and notes are a site for the execu­tion of graphic thought processes and also a means of satire and cari­ca­ture, imag­i­na­tion and subver­sion. Walker relent­lessly shakes up histor­ical images, exam­ining racism and sexual violence with radical open­ness and drastic imagery. In doing so, she repeat­edly refer­ences histor­ical as well as contem­po­rary events—from the transat­lantic slave trade to the pres­i­dency of Barack Obama. The artist makes visible the conflicts and traumas that persist to this day and ruth­lessly nego­ti­ates the emer­gence of both the US-Amer­ican collec­tive and indi­vidual iden­tity.

An exhi­bi­tion by Kunst­mu­seum Basel in collab­o­ra­tion with SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANK­FURT and De Pont Museum, Tilburg. Consulting for the exhi­bi­tion at the SCHIRN by Contem­po­rary And (C&).




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