LOS ANGELES, CA - July, 2012 – The Ben Maltz Gallery continues to present and document new work by artists in the SoCal region with the solo exhibition STILL . . . by Otis alumna Alison Saar (MFA 1981).
Informed by artistic traditions from the Americas to Africa and beyond, and by her mixed racial upbringing, Saar fuses her paradoxical responses to the black-and-white delineations of political and social forces into a powerful, visual, and kinesthetic tension. She uses the history and associations of her materials, everyday experience, African art and ritual, Greek mythology, and the stark sculptural tradition of German Expressionism to infuse her work with a primal intensity that challenges cultural and historic references and stereotypes. STILL . . . gathers together for the first time four never-exhibited works made during a residency at Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle with six new bronze and mixed-media sculptures.
Saar is a mature and significant sculptor who has achieved broad recognition for her studio and public art throughout the country. Her work is held in many collections including the Museum of Modern Art, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and Metropolitan Museum of Art; and she has major public art works in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago. She has received numerous prestigious awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, Anonymous Was a Woman, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She forcefully investigates elements of marginalization and discrimination in society to present poetic responses through a process of selfscrutiny and introspection as to how these historical burdens can be transformed, and how symbolic atonement, and even some measure of redemption, can be imagined. Her work mirrors an entirely American process of spiritual and political bifurcation, and the evolution of historical recovery. As Lowry Stokes Sims, Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, writes in her essay for Feallan and Fallow, “Alison Saar’s library of references is as varied and rich as her own heritage. Her special gift lies in her ability to translate the personal and the culturally specific in such a way that it embodies concerns that not only transcend race but also gender.”
The forthcoming catalog, Alison Saar: STILL . . . (October, 2012), features an introduction by Meg Linton, Curator of the Exhibition and OTIS Director of Galleries and Exhibitions; an essay by Dr. Barbara Thompson and Phyllis Wattis, Curator of the Arts of Africa and the Americas at the Cantor Art Center, Stanford University, and full-color reproductions of the work and installation.
This exhibition is funded in part by Contemporary Collectors - Orange County. Special thanks go to Decker Studios, L.A. Louver, John David O’Brien, and Otis Continuing Education and Alumni Relations.
Events in Conjunction with the Exhibition:
Public Reception: Saturday, September 15, 4p.m - 6p.m, Admission Free
Meet Alison Saar and enjoy live music
Otis Alumni Gallery & Studio Tour: Saturday, September 15, 10 a.m.- 4p.m., $25
Otis Alumna Alison Saar tours her exhibition STILL . . . in the Ben Maltz Gallery followed by lunch and a bus tour to local Otis alumni studios and galleries. (Reg # 35449, $25 Non-credit)*
Conversation: Sunday, November 4, 2p.m., Admission Free
Alison Saar in conversation with Sarah Lewis about art, race, and gender.
(Reg # 35450, Free non-credit)*
Scholar, writer, and curator Sarah Lewis is currently finishing her book, RISE, a book that draws on her work in the arts and expands into sports, business, psychology, sociology, and science. Selected for Oprah’s 2010 “Power List,” and included as a member of President Obama’s Arts Policy Committee, her writing has been published widely. Her Yale dissertation on Frederick Douglass, The Circassian Beauties and American Racial Formation, is now under contract with Harvard University Press (2014 release). She has been an active curator, holding positions at both the Tate Modern and the Museum of Modern Art. She was also selected to be the Co-Curator of the 2010 SITE Santa Fe Biennial. She is currently curating the art for the Barclays Center while finishing her manuscripts. Sarah sits on the boards of the Harvard University Alumni Association, the CUNY Graduate Center, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the Brearley School, and she is on the Art Advisory Committee of Madison Square Park. She received a B.A. from Harvard University, magna cum laude, an M.Phil. from Oxford University with Distinction as a British Marshall Scholar, and will receive a Ph.D. from Yale University in 2012. She is on faculty at Yale University, School of Art in the M.F.A. program.
* The bus tour and conversation are organized in partnership with Otis Continuing Education.
Reservations for these two programs are required. To register, or for more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call 310-665-6850, or visit www.otis.edu/ce.