The Kara Walker exhibition opens July 23 at the Frist Art Museum

Kara Walker. The approximation of emancipation (scene n ° 24), edition 720, 1999-2000. Silkscreen, 44 x 34 inches. Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation, 2001.20x. © Kara Walker

The Frist Art Museum presents Kara Walker: Punch, an exhibition offering a broad overview of the artist’s career exploring exploitation, abuse and racial and gender inequalities. Co-hosted by the Executive Director and CEO of the Frist Art Museum, Dr Susan H. Edwards and Nashville-based poet Ciona Rouse, Cut as quickly as possible will be on view in Frist’s upper-level galleries from July 23 through October 10, 2021.

A leading artist of her generation, Kara Walker (b.1969) works in a wide range of mediums including prints, drawings, paintings, sculptures, films and the large scale silhouette cutouts for which she is. the best known. His powerful and provocative images employ contradictions to critique the painful legacies of slavery, sexism, violence, imperialism and other power structures, including those of history and hierarchies of the contemporary art and culture.

Over 80 works created between 1994 and 2019 from the collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation – the first collectors of works on paper in the United States – in Cut as quickly as possible simultaneously demonstrate Walker’s mastery in the medium and power in the message.

“His hard-hitting, unorthodox depictions of taboo subjects expose the raw flesh of generational wounds that have never healed,” Dr. Edwards writes in an introduction to the exhibit. “Intentionally non-sentimental and ambiguous, the works can be disturbing but also humorous, always exploring the irreconcilable inconsistencies that reflect the human condition.”

This is Walker’s first solo exhibition at the Frist Art Museum. His work Ladies of Camptown appeared in the Frist presentation of 30 Americans in 2013-14. Cut as quickly as possible includes several of his most renowned series: The rapprochement of emancipation (1999-2000), Testimony (2005), Harper’s Illustrated History of the Civil War (annotated) (2005), An uninhabited land in uncharted waters (2010), and Porgy & Bess (2013). The first job here is Topsy (1994), depicting a figure of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852). The most recent work, a bronze replica of Fons Americanus, addresses the interdependence of governments and private companies in generating American and European wealth through the transatlantic slave trade.

Kara Walker. Boo-hoo (for Parkett n ° 59), edition PP 56, 2000. Linocut, 40 x 20 12 in. Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation, 2003.13. © Kara Walker

Walker’s process involves extensive research in history, literature, art history, and popular culture. His groundbreaking installations of room-sized figure paintings are also inspired by mythology and fantasy and stem from his study of colonial portraiture, animated films, and paper-cut silhouettes (a popular domestic craft). in 19th century America).

“Controversial at the start of her career, Walker’s steadfast vision places her, more than twenty-five years later, at the forefront of centuries-old cries against injustice, articulated more recently in the international wave of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. , ”Writes Dr. Edwards. “The art of the walker demands attention. Can the discomfort, disgust, tension, anxiety and excitement caused by these images explode stereotypes? “

Co-curator Ciona Rouse has composed poems inspired by Walker’s works that will be on display in the gallery, with QR codes directing guests to audio versions of the poems.

“Rouse’s words merge genre within genre, expanding our understanding of the visual, verbal, oral and performative complexity of artist rhetoric,” writes Dr. Edwards. “She gives voice to those absent and establishes links through time and between the spectator and the artist.

Saturday July 24 Kara Walker’s Inspired Performance: Cut to Speed Choreographed and danced by Jade Treadwell. Two shows, at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Frist Art Museum. Free; first come, first seated. Space is limited. This first of a new dance will explore the complex themes addressed in Walker’s work through rhythmic tap dancing and contemporary modern dance movements.

Saturday August 21 Sensory Dreams, Sated: A tasting inspired by Kara Walker presented by Chef Keshia of Sip N Bite is from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the auditorium of the Frist Art Museum. $ 50 for members; $ 60 for non-members (entrance to the gallery, validation of parking and tasting included). Space is limited. Registration required on the Frist website.


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