Kara Walker’s Sugar Sphinx Will Knock Out Chelsea

Kara Walker, A Subtlety (2014)
Kara Walker, A Subtlety (2014). Photo Jason Wyche, courtesy Creative Time.

If you who missed Kara Walker’s massive Creative Time exhibition at the Domino Sugar refinery this summer (see “Kara Walker on Her Bittersweet Colossus“), you’ll get a chance to see a small pinch of the sugary spectacle. Or, rather, a punch.

In a Los Angeles conversation as part of the Broad Museum‘s “Un-Private Collections” series, during which Walker spoke to filmmaker Ava DuVernay, the artist revealed that she held onto one part of the enormous, sugar-coated sphinx figure that was the centerpiece of “A Subtlety” after the installation was dismantled.

“She was knocked down over a week period,” Walker said at the October 11 talk, the Los Angeles Times‘s Carolina Miranda reports. “I think they started the next day [after the show closed] with forklifts. I have a piece. There’s one piece left: her left hand. And I’m going to show it. I have a show coming up in November, at the New York gallery where I show: Sikkema Jenkins.”

Walker is also working on a video piece cut together from all the footage of visitors looking at and responding to the installation, including those who posed for tasteless selfies (see “Kara Walker’s Sugar Sphinx Spawns Offensive Instagram Photos“).

“I want to tell about the gathering of this piece. Overall, it was a very positive environment. Large groups of people came, families came, grandmothers came, little kids — things that don’t happen very often around contemporary art,” Walker said on Saturday. “People are stupid, but the greater majority are conscientious, if not always respectful, and they are aware of one another’s presence in the room.”

Kara Walker’s new show at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. runs November 21, 2014–January 17, 2015.


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