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Four Idioms on Negro Art #1 Folk

Kara Elizabeth Walker (American, born 1969). Four Idioms on Negro Art #1 Folk, 2015. Tempera, flashe and watercolor on paper, 77 1/2 x 127 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches (196.9 x 323.9 x 8.9 cm), framed. Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Edmund Hayes Fund, by exchange and Sherman S. Jewett Fund, by exchange, 2016 (2016:8). © 2015 Kara Walker.

© Kara Walker

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Kara Walker

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

© Kara Walker

Image downloads are for educational use only. For all other purposes, please see our Obtaining and Using Images page.

Kara Elizabeth Walker

American, born 1969

Four Idioms on Negro Art #1 Folk, 2015

tempera, Flashe, and watercolor on paper

framed: 77 1/2 x 127 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches (196.85 x 323.85 x 8.89 cm)

Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

Edmund Hayes Fund, by exchange and Sherman S. Jewett Fund, by exchange, 2016

2016:8

More Details

Inscriptions

signature, undated / back, lower right / "Kara Walker"
inscription / back, lower right / Four Idioms on Negro Art #1 Folk

Provenance

the artist;
Victoria Miro Gallery, London;
sold to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, May 10, 2016

Class

Paintings (visual works)

Work Type

Painting (visual work)

This information may change due to ongoing research. Glossary of Terms

Four Idioms on Negro Art #1 Folk belongs to a series of works inspired by the city of Atlanta, where Kara Walker spent her teenage years. Of these, three in particular are meant to evoke artistic “idioms,” or styles, associated with “negro art”: folk art, primitivism, and graffiti. Four Idioms on Negro Art #1 Folk both pays homage to and satirizes folk art, which is characterized in part by subject matter taken from the everyday lives of marginalized people and by a disregard for established artistic conventions, such as rules regarding proportion and perspective. In this chaotic scene, two authority figures invade what looks to be a club where women are pole dancing, toppling the dancers and aiming their guns at the protesting men. With its contrasting color palette of deep tones punctured by bright yellows and blues, roughly outlined figures, and confused space, Walker turns the “bad” qualities of folk art into powerful tools for representing trauma.

Label from We the People: New Art from the Collection, October 23, 2018–July 21, 2019

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