Saturday, October 06, 2007
Inspiratio of the Day: Fogg Museaum and Kara Walker
Posted by Colin Darke
Kara Walker, Alabama Loyalists Greeting the Federal Gun-Boats, from the portfolio Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), 2005. Offset lithograph and screen print. Image size: 24 x 35 inches; sheet size: 39 x 53 inches. Courtesy of Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston.
I just went to the Fogg Museum of Harvard University , and I am upset with myself for not going to this Museum earlier. It has one of the best collections of work that I have seen: One in which any city would be proud to have it as its Museum (let alone a University).
In line with the themes we have been exploring, the Fogg has an exhibition of Kara Walker's work which superimposes her signature silhouette figures on old illustrative depictions of the Civil War from Harper's Magazine. The contrast is very striking, and her work does compel you to think about difficult issues involving racism, sexism, and violence (all pushing and pulling against one another). Her medium of silhouette cutouts is very interesting too. It allows her to create images the are simple and playful at one look and then distorted and disturbing at a closer look.
Have you seen any of her work? I wish I could find more images online to show you of this exhibit. The image shown is a good representation of the pieces in this exhibit. She usually only has the black silhouette figures on stark white backgrounds, sometime displayed on a wall of a gallery space (so not confined at all), so this is an interesting change from what I have seen of her previous work.