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Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber Ocula Report Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber 15 Mar 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

In Meiro Koizumi's three-channel video installation, The Angels of Testimony (2019), the central frame features an interview with Hajime Kondo about his time as a solider of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The conversation centres on war crimes perpetrated in China, including the beheading of Chinese prisoners for...

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Diana Campbell Betancourt Ocula Conversation Diana Campbell Betancourt

Diana Campbell Betancourt is a curator working predominantly across South and Southeast Asia. Since 2013 she has been the founding artistic director of the Samdani Art Foundation and chief curator of the Dhaka Art Summit in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a transnational art event that has grown in size and scale ever since its first edition in 2012. Backed by...

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Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art Ocula Report Chinternet Ugly at Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art 7 Mar 2019 : Mike Pinnington for Ocula

China, home to 802 million internet users, is subject to sophisticated online censorship. This shrouded state of affairs, unsurprisingly perhaps, serves to reinforce stereotypes around conformity elsewhere. Any realm, digital or otherwise, subject to such strict scrutiny must necessarily be bland and uncritical, right? I was mulling over such...

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Kara Walker

b. 1969, USA

Kara Walker is a contemporary African American artist whose works explore themes of race, violence, identity, sexuality, and gender. Her practice encompasses a variety of media including painting, drawing, light projection, and film thematically focussing on exposing prejudices and bringing attention to enduring biases within relationships, both political and personal.

Walker’s most recognisable works are her panoramic cut-paper silhouettes of black figures against white walls which engage with unsettling historical events by proposing alternative narratives. Throughout her oeuvre, Walker confronts the atrocities committed against African American slaves during the Antebellum South whilst also relating to present-day concerns of inequality.

At age 28, Walker was among the youngest people to receive a MacArthur Fellowship when she did so in 1997. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012 and has been the recipient of numerous accolades including the 2004 Lucelia Artist Award from The Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Deutsche Bank Artist of the Business Year Award in 2000, and two Honorary Doctorates, one from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2006 and the other from the California College of the Arts in 2009.

The artist’s recent solo exhibitions have included Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power at the University of Wyoming Art Museum (2016); Go to Hell or Atlanta, Whichever Comes First at Victoria Miro, Wharf Road (2015); Anything but Civil: Kara Walker’s Vision of the Old South at the Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis (2014); and Rise Up Ye Mighty Race! At Art Institute Chicago (2013). Walker’s work is held in several public collections including The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Musee d’Art Moderne, Luxembourg; The Tate Gallery, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Kara Walker lives and works in New York.

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Featured Artworks

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Pastoral by Kara Walker contemporary artwork Kara WalkerPastoral, 1998 Wall painting in black
177.8 x 203.2 cm
Sprüth Magers
Boo Hoo by Kara Walker contemporary artwork Kara WalkerBoo Hoo, 2000 Linocut on paper with deckled edge
39.75 x 20.75 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery
The Emancipation Approximation (scene #9) by Kara Walker contemporary artwork Kara WalkerThe Emancipation Approximation (scene #9), 1999–2000 Silkscreen on paper
44 x 34 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery
White Space by Kara Walker contemporary artwork Kara WalkerWhite Space, 2010 Graphite and pastel on paper
182.9 x 173.4 cm
Sprüth Magers
Banks's Army Leaving Simmsport by Kara Walker contemporary artwork Kara WalkerBanks's Army Leaving Simmsport, 2005 Offset lithography with silkscreen on Somerset textured paper
39 x 53 inches
Krakow Witkin Gallery
Stage as Mask (Miniature) by Kara Walker contemporary artwork Kara WalkerStage as Mask (Miniature), 2015 Paper, mounted
21.6 x 29.4 x 6.5 cm
Victoria Miro

Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Eau de Cologne at Sprüth Magers, Berlin
Opening Soon
26 March–12 April 2019 Group Exhibition Eau de Cologne Sprüth Magers, Berlin
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibiton, God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin at David Zwirner, New York
Closed
10 January–16 February 2019 Group Exhibiton God Made My Face: A Collective Portrait of James Baldwin David Zwirner, 19th Street, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Kara Walker, Kara Walker at Sprüth Magers, Berlin
Closed
28 April–8 September 2018 Kara Walker Kara Walker Sprüth Magers, Berlin

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Berlin’s Gallery Weekend: Body Conscious Ocula Report Berlin’s Gallery Weekend: Body Conscious 4 May 2018 : Mitch Speed for Ocula

What do you need, in order to arrange a perfect storm of an artistic encounter, like Gallery Weekend Berlin (27–29 April 2018)? Galleries and a weekend, that much is obvious; but it's the next question that gets me. How does this Gallery Weekend differ from the other 50-odd weekends when art is exhibited throughout the year, in any given place?The...

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The Lowdown: shows to see during Gallery Weekend Berlin Ocula Report The Lowdown: shows to see during Gallery Weekend Berlin 20 Apr 2018 : Phoebe Blatton for Ocula

Gallery Weekend Berlin is a long-established highlight in the German art world's calendar. This year, the fourteenth edition takes place from 27 to 29 April, and features no less than 47 participating galleries showcasing emerging talent alongside established names. With many other exhibitions and events taking place across one of Europe's most...

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Two Exhibitions: Two Collections - Japan Focus Ocula Report Two Exhibitions: Two Collections - Japan Focus 12 Sep 2014 : Annabel James for Ocula

Two private collection shows in Japan this summer revealed radically different ways to present and interpret the role of the contemporary art collector.

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In Related Press

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Best of 2018: Our Top 20 Exhibitions Across the United States Related Press Best of 2018: Our Top 20 Exhibitions Across the United States Hyperallergic : 21 December 2018

In 2018, artists and curators across the United States have been crafting brilliant exhibitions across the US, exploring themes of identity and community in innovative ways. Ebony G. Patterson made a maximalist tribute to victims of violence in her home country of Jamaica, while Joel Otterson crafted work recalling his parents' professions as a...

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Kara Walker, Barbara Kruger, and Charles Atlas Dissect Modernity Related Press Kara Walker, Barbara Kruger, and Charles Atlas Dissect Modernity Hyperallergic : 7 May 2018

LOS ANGELES — Art is humanity's attempt to articulate life's intangible experiences. That idea is reflected in the title of Unspeakable, a new exhibition at UCLA's Hammer Museum. Museum director Ann Philbin and chief curator Connie Butler have created a trilogy of video installations from the Hammer Contemporary Collection, each projected in...

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The Unsettling Power of MoMA’s 'Unfinished Conversations' Related Press The Unsettling Power of MoMA’s 'Unfinished Conversations' The New Yorker : 21 June 2017

In 2012, the artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah released a video installation, The Unfinished Conversation, an art documentary and tribute to the Jamaican-born cultural theorist Stuart Hall, who died two years later, at the age of eighty-two. The Museum of Modern Art is presenting the video as the cornerstone of its sprawling interdisciplinary...

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Kara Walker Plans a Public Art Project for New Orleans Related Press Kara Walker Plans a Public Art Project for New Orleans The New York Times : 29 May 2017

The artist Kara Walker—whose monumental sphinx, A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, wowed critics and clogged Instagram feeds in 2014—will unveil a new public art project this fall as part of the contemporary art triennial Prospect New Orleans, the exhibition's organizers announced.

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