Artist Betye Saar on a Sordid History

Betye Saar’s success relies on her exceptional ability to reconsider master narratives through revised visualizations of history. She is an artist whose work is political but not overwrought, small but not insignificant, gentle but not pliant. She’s also someone who, despite international recognition, lacks the acclaim she deserves. Although her work is present in virtually every museum collection from LACMA to MoMA, Saar’s last major institutional survey show in the US occurred almost 40 years ago in 1980 at the Studio Museum Harlem. Fortunately, LACMA has announced that it will mount another big exhibition in 2019, called Betye Saar: Call and Response. Hopefully that show will expand upon the foundations of Keepin’ It Clean, championing Saar as a clear-eyed historian of one of America’s cruelest chapters. Via

Betye Saar: Keepin’ It Clean continues through May 27, 2019 at the New York Historical Society (170 Central Park West, Upper West Side, Manhattan).

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absolute power depends on absolute control over knowledge, which in turn necessitates absolute corruption

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“Politicians, Priests, and psychiatrists often face the same problem: how to find the most rapid and permanent means of changing a man’s belief…The problem of the doctor and his nervously ill patient, and that of the religious leader who sets out to gain and hold new converts, has now become the problem of whole groups of nations, who wish not only to confirm certain political beliefs within their boundaries, but to proselytize the outside world.” – William Sargant “Battle of the Mind”

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