This gorgeous 600-page volume, with a printed cloth-over-paper binding, provides an exciting opportunity to delve into the creative process of Kara Walker, one of the most celebrated artists working in the United States today. Primarily recognized for her monumental installations, Walker also works with ink, graphite and collage to create pieces that demonstrate her continued engagement with her own identity as an artist, an African American, a woman and a mother.
More than 700 works on paper created between 1992 and 2020—which are reproduced in print for the first time from the artist’s own strictly guarded private archive—are collected in this volume, thus capturing Walker’s career with an unprecedented level of intimacy. Since the early 1990s, the foundation of her artistic production has been drawing and working on paper in various ways.
Walker’s completed large-format pieces are presented among typewritten notes on index cards and dream journal entries; sketches and studies for pieces appear alongside collages. The result is a volume that allows readers to become eyewitnesses to the genesis of Walker’s art and the transformative power of the figures and narratives she has created over the course of her career.
Now based in New York, Kara Walker was born in Stockton, California, in 1969. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994; soon afterwards, Walker rose to prominence for her large, provocative silhouettes installed directly onto the walls of exhibition spaces. Walker’s work confronts history, race relations and sexuality in a decidedly non-conciliatory manner, urging the public to reconsider established narratives surrounding the experiences of African Americans in particular.
Edited with text by Anita Haldemann. Foreword by Kara Walker. Text by Maurice Berger, Aria Dean.
Paperback, 600 pages
8 1/4 x 11 inches