Violence in Contemporary Art (Canceled)

Event Canceled

Friday, 21 February 2014 - 5:00pm6:30pm

Harrison Auditorium, Penn Museum, 3260 South Street

Violence in Contemporary Art (Canceled)

Kara Walker


Charles Bernstein

Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature
University of Pennsylvania

Kara Walker's internationally acclaimed works spin stark narratives of race, gender, sexuality, and the violence that attends them. She is joined by Penn's renowned poet Charles Bernstein for a lively conversation about how violence intersects with art in our time. The Penn Humanities Forum is pleased to present this event in conjunction with "Ruffneck Constructivists," a group exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Curated by Walker, ICA's exhibition brings together artists known to make challenging work in response to social inequities.

Kara Walker graduated from the Atlanta College of Art in 1991 and received her M.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994. She is currently on the faculty of Columbia University as Professor of Visual Arts in the School of Visual Arts. Her work explores the tensions and power plays of racial and gender relations, in particular engaging with historical narratives and the ways in which these stories have been suppressed, distorted, and falsified.

Named one of Time Magazine's most influential people in 2007, Walker has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions. Among her more recent solo museum shows are "Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love," which opened at the Walker Art Center in 2007 and traveled to ARC/Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Her show "Kara Walker at the Met: After the Deluge" opened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2006. She also participated in the 53rd Venice Biennale in 2007 and was the U.S. representative to the 25th International São Paulo Biennial in Brazil in 2002.

In 1997 at age 27 she became the youngest recipient of the MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant. In 2000 she received the Deutsche Bank Prize, and in 2008 the United States Artists Eileen Harris Norton Fellowship. She is a 2012 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Her work is included in numerous museums and public collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Tate Gallery in London, the Centro Nazionale per le Arti Contemporanee in Rome, and Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt.

She is currently at work on "At the behest of Creative Time Kara E. Walker has confected: A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby," a large-scale installation to open May 10, 2014 in Brooklyn's legendary Domino Sugar Factory.


"Kara Walker," by Matthea Harvey. BOMB 100/Summer 2007, ART.

Image: Kara Walker, dread from An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters, 2010. Etching with aquatint, sugar-lift, spit-bite and dry-point on paper; 27 x 15 inches (68.6 x 38.1 cm); Artwork © Kara Walker; Image courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.


Ruffneck Constructivists
Curated by Kara Walker
February 12–August 17, 2014

Whatever their cultural background or medium of choice, Ruffneck Constructivists are defiant shapers of environments. Whatever their gender affiliation, Ruffnecks go hard when all around them they see weakness, softness, compromise, sermonizing, poverty, and lack. They don't change the world through conscious actions. They build themselves into the world one assault at a time.

Image: Deana Lawson, Jouvert, 2011, 39 x 48 inches, Pigment Print, Courtesy of the Artist