Kara Walker’s art: shadows of slavery | Art and design | The Guardian

Her London show is not large – just three rooms, with 11 recent works – but it is significant and overdue. Walker is one of the most uncompromising contemporary American artists, not just for the quality of her work – which comprises drawing, film, and her signature medium, silhouettes – but for the fact that her art engages with what many would rather forget: the appalling violence meted out to the black population before and after the American civil war and the abolition of slavery, and the legacy of racism that still shapes the US political agenda.Another drawing, Urban Relocator, shows a hooded, Klan-like figure next to a bare cotton tree: this is, Walker says, partly inspired by the boll weevil cotton plague that – along with the violence many freed slaves endured – led many black families, including Walker\’s, to abandon their land in the south for a better life in the northern states. \”My own family were once given a piece of land,\” she says. \”I started thinking about what happened to that land; about what made so many people leave the south, whether it was social violence, or domestic terrorism, or economic strife.\”

 

via Kara Walker’s art: shadows of slavery | Art and design | The Guardian.

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