“FAB FIVE FAVS!” #15 features Betye Saar

“FAB FIVE FAVS!” featuring Betye Saar: Cage

MICHAEL ROSENFELD GALLERY LLC

24 West 57th Street, 7th Floor

New York, NY 10019

Tel 212.247-0082 Fax 212-247-0402

Betye Saar: Cage

A new Series of Assemblages and Collages

November 6 – January 15, 2010 (closing reception 3:00-5:00 PM)

My “FAB FIVE FAVS!” are;

As the Crow Flies, 2010

mixed media assemblage

20 3/4 x 19 1/4 x 12 inches, signed and dated

As the Crow Flies, 2010 mixed media assemblage 20 3/4 x 19 1/4 x 12 inches, signed and dated

The Destiny of Latitude & Longitude, 2010

mixed media assemblage

54 x 43 x 20 1/2 inches, signed and dated

The Destiny of Latitude & Longitude, 2010 mixed media assemblage 54 x 43 x 20 1/2 inches, signed and dated

Illusion of Freedom, 2009

mixed media assemblage

18 1/2 x 18 1/2 x 11 inches, signed and dated

Illusion of Freedom, 2009 mixed media assemblage 18 1/2 x 18 1/2 x 11 inches, signed and dated

Vanity, 2009

mixed media assemblage

24 x 22 1/2 x 16 inches, signed and dated

Vanity, 2009 mixed media assemblage 24 x 22 1/2 x 16 inches, signed and dated

The Weight of Color, 2007

mixed media assemblage

22 x 8 1/2 x 9 inches, signed and dated

The Weight of Color, 2007 mixed media assemblage 22 x 8 1/2 x 9 inches, signed and dated

Since 1996, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery has been the exclusive representative of Betye Saar.

Upon entering the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery I was pleasantly surprised to find that

in the invitation itself, a pop-up of Betye Saar (b. 1926), Valley of Bones, 2010, (mixed media assemblage, 12 1/2 x 7 x 7 inches, signed) Betye Saar, at the age of 84, still somehow finds a way to present beauty in the gathering of elements that represent such pain.

My “FAB FIVE FAVS!” were chosen based on a deep emotional response that the so eloquently presented mixed media triggered in my heart. Viewing this exhibit made me feel like I was having a dialogue with Betye Saar, someone whom I have never met. Yet her work infused my mind with the necessity to “Never Forget!”

"Betye Saar, Our National Treasure!"

Living and sometimes feeling like we’re just trying to survive in today’s fast paced, and “Instant World,” we can easily forget the power of our voice effecting change on our society. In addressing such issues as racism, sexism, and oppression, Betye Saar reminds us that there’s still work to be done.

As a pioneering artist and educator, Betye Saar shows us by example that we as ordinary human beings can and will affect change in our world by just sharing our stories and speaking our voice until that day when our children will ask, “What does  racism mean?”

I hope you will join me in celebrating one of our nations most precious treasures, Betye Saar!

The exhibit has been extended to January 15th with a closing reception from  3:00-5:00 PM of which I will be attending. I look forward to meeting you there and sharing in rich dialogue.

Betye Saar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Betye Saar
220px-72_aunt_jemima.gif 

The Liberation of Aunt Jemima, by Betye Saar. 1972

Born July 30, 1926 (age 84) 

Los Angeles, California

Nationality American
Field Assemblage
Training University of California, Los Angeles, Pasadena City College, California State University, Long Beach

Betye Irene Saar (July 30, 1926, in Los Angeles, California) is an American artist, known for her work in the field of assemblage. Her education included a time at the University of California, Los Angeles, from where she received a degree in design in 1949, and graduate studies in printmaking and education at Pasadena City College, California State University, Long Beach, from 1958 to 1962. Her interest in assemblage was inspired by a 1968 exhibition by Joseph Cornell, though she also cites the influence of Simon Rodia‘s Watts Towers, which she witnessed being built in her childhood.[1] She began creating work typically consisting of found objects arranged within boxes or windows, with items drawing on various different cultures reflecting Saar’s own mixed heritage (African, Native American, Irish and Creole).[1]

In the late 1960s Saar began collecting images of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Tom, Little Black Sambo, and other stereotyped African American figures from folk culture and advertising. She incorporated them into collages and assemblages, transforming them into statements of political and social protest. In the 1970s Saar shifted focus again, exploring ritual and tribal objects from Africa as well as items from African American folk traditions. In new boxed assemblages, she combined shamanistic tribal fetishes with images and objects intended to evoke the magical and the mystical.

When her great-aunt died, Saar became immersed in family memorabilia and began making more personal and intimate assemblages that incorporated nostalgic mementos of her great aunt’s life. She arranged old photographs, letters, lockets, dried flowers, and handkerchiefs in shrine like boxes to suggest memory, loss, and the passage of time.

In the early 1980s Saar taught in Los Angeles at the University of California and the Otis Art Institute. In her own work she began using a larger, room-size scale, creating site-specific installations, including altar-like shrines exploring the relationship between technology and spirituality, and incorporating her interests in mysticism and Voodoo. Pairing computer chips with mystical amulets and charms, these monumental constructions suggested the need for an alliance of both systems of knowledge: the technical and the spiritual.

Saar was a part of the black arts movement in the 1970s, challenging myths and stereotypes. In the 1990s, her work was politicized while she continued to challenge the negative ideas of African Americans. One of her better-known and controversial pieces is that entitled “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima.” It is a “mammy” doll carrying a broom in one hand and a shotgun in the other, and placed in front of the syrup labels. Her work began with found objects arranged in boxes or windows. The items would reflect her mixed ancestry.

Her ancestry is a mixture of African-American, Irish, and Native American. She married a white ceramist and conservator.

Betye Saar continues to live and work in Los Angeles. Saar is the mother of two artists, Alison Saar and Lezley Saar.

She has been awarded honorary doctorate degrees by [[California College of Arts and Crafts]], California Institute of the Arts, Massachusetts College of Art, Otis College of Art and Design, and San Francisco Art Institute.

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About ELEMENTSofFIERCE

Mission Statement: "ELEMENTS of FIERCE!" is a celebration of artistic expression! The founder, Blane Charles, explores not what people wear, but who is wearing it? He feels that we all have a special style waiting to be shared with the world. Blane also wants to celebrate freedom of expression, uniqueness, individuality, and authenticity! Stay tuned to my "FAB FIVE FAVS!" where I feature five works of inspiration and beauty from my day to day travels.
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2 Responses to “FAB FIVE FAVS!” #15 features Betye Saar

  1. Mark Blinstrub says:

    Hey Blane,

    I enjoyed reading about this wonderful artist and woman Betye Saar. She is truely an inspiration. Nice work.

  2. Pingback: USA: artist Betye Saar exhibition | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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