About the event
American artist Alison Saar is known not only for her powerful sculptures—she is also a master of the art of printmaking. In both forms, she employs a personal vocabulary informed by history, race, and mythology. Her influences range from ancient Europe, Africa, and American folk art. Saar’s works narrate stories of the African American experience, moving effortlessly from the personal to the political. In many of her works, she charts the tragic history of slavery in America, but her figures symbolize defiance and strength. Other recurring images are informed by jazz, romance, and desire.
Mirror Mirror: The Prints of Alison Saar features over 30 prints and six sculptures by Los Angeles–based artist over the past 35 years. Her lithographs, etchings and woodblock prints are evocations of the sculptures for which she is renowned. Saar undertakes printmaking with the same tangible approach to unconventional materials and methods found in her sculpture. Cast-off objects such as old chair backs and found ceiling tin become the foundations for etching or lithography plates. Carved wooden panels used for wood block prints echo similar techniques established in her hewn wooden forms. In addition to printing on paper, Saar also employs a variety of used fabrics like vintage handkerchiefs, old shop rags and antique sugar sacks that are layered, cut, sewn and collaged―empowering the content of the image while resisting the flat repetitive nature of the medium.
Funding for this exhibition is provided by the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Endowment and members of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art WSU.