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Kara Walker: Dust Jackets for the Niggerati Hardcover – September 30, 2013
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Walker concieved Dust Jacket's images as "potential covers of unwritten essays, works of fiction, and missing narratives of the black migration," transforming the art book from the coffee-table objet to the conscience catalyst. (Christopher Lyon Bookforum)
In KARA WALKER:DUST JACKETS FOR THE NIGGERATI, the artist, assisted by the design firm of CoMa, has cleverly folded the dust jacket into a large artwork that includes her entire foreword and a full-scale detail of a large text piece. The fine reproductions include these boldly graphic works as well as her powerfully kinetic figurative drawings. Walker's art engages with historical forms of American popular entertainment, from minstrel shows, vaudeville turns, old movies, and nightclub acts, to public lynchings with postcard souvenirs. Conceiving its images as "potential covers for unwritten essays, works of fiction, and missing narratives of the black migration," Walker transforms the art book from coffee-table objet to black-and-white bomb. (Christopher Lyon Bookforum)
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. [...] Walker has exhibited widely in the US, and at 27 (she's now 43) became the youngest person ever to receive the prestigious MacArthur Foundation's "genius grant" scholarship. But she has also caused controversy. [...] Walker is by now used to viewers being discomfited not only by the fact that her work dares to speak openly about race and identity, but that it may even be making fun of such viewers. "It makes people queasy," she says. "And I like that queasy feeling." (Laura Barnett The Guardian)