Tag: Kara Walker

  • After “Open Casket”: What Emmett Till Teaches Us Today

    Emmett Till

    They found Emmett Till’s casket in 2009. It was under a tarp in a shed in Burr Oak Cemetery, outside Chicago. When they opened it, possums scurried out. The casket had come out of the earth five years earlier. The U.S. Department of Justice had reopened the case of Till’s lynching in 1955 in Mississippi, […]

  • Carnival of the Grotesque: Kara Walker’s Insistent Resistance in New Orleans

    The enemy was in sight. It was chugging back up the broad Mississippi, its majestic paddle wheel churning the waters, returning the day-trippers to the dock at the edge of the French Quarter. On the opposite bank, facing downtown New Orleans where the river’s curve forms the promontory called Algiers Point, Kara Walker was waiting. […]

  • The Artist and the Revolutionary

    Kara Walker is tired. In advance of her exhibition that opens this week in Chelsea, the artist — one of America’s most daring, acclaimed, and occasionally reviled — has circulated a communiqué declaring her exhaustion. “I know what you all expect from me and I have complied up to a point,” she writes. “But frankly […]


    The Studio Museum in Harlem presents the work of 35 intergenerational American artists in the new exhibition, “When the Stars Begin to Fall: Imagination and the American South.” Pieces include paintings, drawings, sculptures, and assemblages by well-known artists such as Kara Walker, Carrie Mae Weems (who also currently has a show at the Guggenheim), and […]

  • In On the Levee, Director Lear deBessonet Explores the Great Mississippi Flood

    The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, the worst in U.S. history, drowned more than a million acres of land, killed several hundred people—while displacing hundreds of thousands more—and launched an unprecedented northward migration of African-Americans. But, says director Lear deBessonet, “no one has heard of it. It’s not on the radar at all—in the most […]

  • The Coincidental Cousins

    Every night out has its bizarre themes, tiny lights of synchronicity that flash in conversations, a certain irrational logic. All the possibilities in New York City pile up to form a devilish consciousness. A few nights ago, you leave the office with an immense coffee-table book about Chuck Close and another about the Wooster Group. […]

  • Kara Walker’s Thrilling Whitney Retrospective

    “We live,” Henry Louis Gates writes in his book Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Man, “in an age of irony—an age when passionate intensity is hard to find outside a freshman dining hall, and when even the mediocre lack all conviction.” No surprise then that, in New York this month, Richard Prince’s naughty […]

  • Queen of Night

    With all due respect to the legions who argue otherwise, it is totally bogus to claim that art is about beauty or that the two are even connected. Goya’s stupendous Saturn Devouring His Children isn’t beautiful, nor is Duchamp’s bottle rack, or Thomas Hirschhorn’s recent blood-and-modernism installation. Over time these works may alter definitions of […]

  • Sailing

    Applying longitudinal and latitudinal lines to the walls, Sally Smart, the Australian having her natty New York debut, turns the gallery into a walk-in cartographer’s dream. We see the imagined journeys of a group of so-called “female pirate ships.” These large-scale galleons are marvelous collaged visions made of canvas and clothes, among other materials, and […]

  • Swirl World

    Laleh Khorramian is doing something so seemingly simple but pleasurable that it’s surprising more artists don’t do it: She makes aqueous quasi-abstract drawings, then films them, later adding animated sequences and other low-tech effects to create magic lantern movies and moving landscapes. Here, emaciated pixies, possessed stick figures, and golems enact obscure, vaguely mythic rituals […]