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Kara Walker

American  •  b. 1969

Biography

Kara Walker sugarcoats nothing. Her masterpiece public art commission, A Subtlety, 2014, was a 35-foot high racial confrontation of artifact, mythology and American history in the form of a sphinx packed from 80-tonnes of Domino white sugar crystals. Walker's practice first caught audiences with her haunting paper cutout silhouettes retelling the injustices of slavery and the foundations of American capitalist culture.

Walker's immense talent matched by her cunning commentary has made her one of the most important contemporary artists today, having enjoyed major exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and the Whitney Museum of Art, New York in addition to permanent placements within the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Art Institute Chicago. Her auction market is strong for a mid-career artist, with works reaching more than $300,000.

Insights

  • At the age of 28, Walker became one of the youngest people to ever receive a MacArthur Genius award.

  • Chuck Close created a dotted portrait of Walker in ceramic tile for the 86th Street Subway station in New York City.

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