Lisha rooney image

Lisha Rooney

Rosie Leventon's 'Endangered Dust'

Gallery: Sprüth Magers London Gallery

Timing: showing until Dec 21 , 2019

Kara Walker works seen in 2019, in her solo show ‘From Black and White to Living Color: The Collected Motion Pictures and Accompanying Documents of Kara E. Walker, Artist’ @spruethmagers, at the @sikkemajenkins booth at Frieze, and in the Turbine Hall @tate

Her show at Sprüth Magers – her first retrospective of video works – featured eight films, as well as handwritten notes, sketches, and puppets which highlight her process. My son Lumen absolutely loved this show, mesmerised by Walker’s music and puppetry and silhouettes within the films (you can hear him ‘singing along’ to one video, while I couldn’t tear him away from another video). Her work at the Sikkema Jenkins & Co booth included the six works in ‘Study for The End of Uncle Tom and the Grand Allegorical Tableau of Eva in Heaven’ and the nine works in ‘Notes on the Late United States’, among others. And the work in Tate’s Turbine Hall included ‘Fons Americanus’, a 13-metre high working fountain inspired by the Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace.

What I have always appreciated about Walker’s work is its honesty in portraying America’s bloody past, colonialism, racial disparity, and the impact of slavery and trauma. 

Wrote Walker in her essay ‘Kara Walker on the Post-Lockdown World’, in which she addresses ‘exactitude’ (in a series of memos by artists, writers, curators and scientists written to the world after the COVID-19 crisis) in @frieze_magazine: ‘To demand exactitude in the pursuit of a historical truth is to go where no mind can venture and return whole. The load is too large to carry, the losses too many and too varied. Truth will drain from your hands like so much water. Instead, you will find yourself drawing on tales from the past – historical accounts, novels and songs that compress shared memory – to make the bitter truth at least partly digestible.’

#art #artist #fineart #contemporaryart #artgram #londonart #blackartists #videoart #films #femaleartist #blackcontemporaryart #puppetry #racism #slavery #blacklivesmatter #spruethmagers #sikkemajenkins #tate