KARA WALKER. A BLACK HOLE IS EVERYTHING A STAR LONGS TO BE

October 15, 2021 until January 16, 2022

Kara Walker (*1969) is one of the most prolific US-American artists of our time. Her monumental, wall-spanning silhouettes and expansive sculptures, focusing explicitly and provocatively on racism, sexuality, oppression, and violence, have made headlines.

For the exhibition "A Black Hole Is Everything a Star Longs to Be" in the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, the artist has, for the first time, opened up her extensive archive of drawings and is presenting 650 graphic works and a selection of films. The fact that Walker works on paper is central. She makes use of the most varied styles, techniques, and references with great virtuosity. Her intimate sketches and notes are a site for the execution of graphic thought processes and also a means of satire and caricature, imagination and subversion. Walker relentlessly shakes up historical images, examining racism and sexual violence with radical openness and drastic imagery. In doing so, she repeatedly references historical as well as contemporary events—from slavery to the presidency of Barack Obama. The artist makes visible the conflicts and traumas that persist to this day and ruthlessly negotiates the emergence of both collective and individual identity.

An exhibition by Kunstmuseum Basel in collaboration with SCHIRN KUNSTHALLE FRANKFURT and De Pont Museum, Tilburg. Consulting for the exhibition at the SCHIRN by Contemporary And (C&).

Kara Walker, Untitled, 2016, from a 57-part series: Untitled, Ink and gouache on paper, 26 x 18,1 cm, Private Archive Kara Walker © Kara Walker

The wide-ranging exhibition presents over 650 works on paper as well as a selection of films by the artist


Press Information Exhibition "Kara Walker"

15.07.2021 | For the exhibition "A Black Hole Is Everything a Star Longs to Be" in the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, the artist has, for the first time, opened up her extensive archive of drawings.

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Kara Walker, Barack Obama as Othello "The Moor" With the Severed Head of Iago in a New and Revised Ending by Kara E. Walker, 2019, Pastel, conté crayon, charcoal on treated paper, 221,9 x 182,9 cm , The Joyner / Guiffrida Collection, San Francisco, USA © Kara Walker, Photo: Jason Wyche

Kara Walker, Untitled, 2019, from a 36-part series: Notebooks 2019, Collage, ink, marker, photocopy, tape, stickers, gouache, watercolor, graphite, and colored pencil on paper, 27,6 x 22,5 cm, Private Archive Kara Walker © Kara Walker

Kara Walker, 'merica 2016, 2018, from a 13-part series: The Gross Clinician Presents: Pater Gravidam, Graphite, sumi ink, gofun and gouache on paper, 56,52 x 76,2 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel, Kupferstichkabinett © Kara Walker

Kara Walker, The Welcoming Commitee, 2018 from a 13-part series: The Gross Clinician Presents: Pater Gravidam, Graphite, sumi ink, gofun, and gouache on paper, 55,88 x 76,2 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel, Kupferstichkabinett, © Kara Walker

Kara Walker, Untitled, 2016, from a 57-part series: Untitled, Ink and gouache on paper, 26 x 18,1 cm, Private Archive Kara Walker © Kara Walker

Kara Walker, Untitled, 2016 from the 31-part series: Only I Can Solve This (The 2016 Election), Ink on paper, 18,1 x 26 cm, Private Archive Kara Walker © Kara Walker

Kara Walker, Untitled, 2016, from the 31-part series: Only I can solve this (The 2016 Election), Ink, watercolor, and graphite on paper, 26 x 18,1 cm, Private Archive Kara Walker © Kara Walker

Kara Walker, Untitled, 2008, Ink on paper, 55,9 x 71,1 cm, Private Archive Kara Walker © Kara Walker

Kara Walker, Untitled, no date, Cut paper, 65,4 x 48,3 cm, Kunstmuseum Basel, Kupferstichkabinett (Department of Prints and Drawings), Permanent loan of the Hüni-Michel Foundation to the Kunstmuseum Basel © Kara Walker

Kara Walker, Untitled, 2019, from a 44-part series: Untitled, Ink, watercolor, gouache, and collage on paper, 27,9 x 21,6 cm, Private Archive Kara Walker © Kara Walker

Kara Walker, Untitled, 2012, from a 28-part series: Trolls, Gouache on paper, 17,8 x 26 cm, Private Archive Kara Walker © Kara Walker

Kara Walker, Untitled, 1997–1999, from a 13-part series: Untitled, Watercolor, ink, gouache, and pastel on paper, 26 x 18,1 cm, Collection of Charlotte and Herbert S. Wagner III, Cambridge, Massachusetts © Kara Walker

Kara Walker, Yesterdayness in America Today, 2020, Graphite and watercolor on paper, 221,9 x 365,8 cm, Private Archive Kara Walker © Kara Walker

Kara Walker, Untitled, 2019, from a 9-part series: Notes 2019, Ink, photocopy, graphite, marker, and collage on paper, 38,4 x 28,6 cm, Private Archive Kara Walker © Kara Walker

Kara Walker in her Studio, 2019 © Photo: Ari Marcopoulos