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Kara Walker: White Shadows in Blackface

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n 2002, Kara Walker was selected to represent the United States at the prestigious São Paulo Art Biennial. Curator Robert Hobbs wrote extended essays on her work for this exhibition, and also for her show later that year at the Kunstverein Hannover. Because these essays have not been distributed in the US and remain among the most in-depth and essential investigations of her work, Karma is now republishing them in this new clothbound volume.

Among the most celebrated artists of the past three decades, with over 93 solo exhibitions to her credit, including a major survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Walker is known for her tough, critical, provocative and highly imaginative representations of African Americans and whites reaching back to antebellum times. In his analysis, Hobbs looks at the five main sources of her art: blackface Americana, Harlequin romances, Julia Kristeva’s concept of abjection, Stone Mountain’s racist tourist attraction and the minstrel tradition.