Alison Saar : The thread that leads to the word (October 20, 2021)



After Marcelyn Gow’s introduction, Alison Saar explains the title of he talk as a friend’s description of her work leading the viewer beyond what they already know. She begins by citing some other artists whose work is relevant to hers: the assemblage sculptor Bessie Harvey, the Gee’s Bend quilters Annie Mae Young and Rosie Lee Tompkins, and the sculptor Ruth Asawa.

Saar discusses many of her sculptures, mostly assemblages and word carvings, but also drawings and paintings. She talks about her work in terms of family, the African-American experience, Greek mythology, the places works were made – Los Angeles, New Orleans, the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington – and contemporary events: Hurricane Katrina, the election of Barack Obama, rising violence against Black Americans.

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