Work of sculptor Alison Saar heralds her LUX residency
Lux Art Institute welcomes Los Angeles-based sculptor Alison Saar as the first artist-in-residence of 2011. Saar’s multi-media sculptures and paper works are on view now through March 16, with her residency set for Feb. 3 to March 5. While she is in-studio carving a large-scale, wooden figure clad in materials such as copper and tin, visitors can see art happen.
Saar’s narrative, often life-sized works are emotional explorations of her personal and cultural identity. Sensual and buoyant with story, her carved figures and installations also address humanity in the broadest sense by delving into universal themes of family, fertility, life cycles, politics, human vulnerability and hope.
Calling on a wide variety of sources — African and Haitian folklore, contemporary African-American culture, Catholicism, mythology, voodoo, and the practices of “outsider” artists — Saar constructs a visual language that is simultaneously historical and philosophical, accessible and explorative.
The wood, bronze, tin, copper, wire, tar and other objects that she uses are often reclaimed or recycled material, revealing Saar’s fondness for her supplies having, as she states, “former lives” and carrying “the histories of what they’ve witnessed.”
The humor and wordplay that she injects into the titles of her work speak to Saar’s willingness to engage viewers’ personal interpretations and imbue levity into otherwise serious subject matter.
The daughter of art world cognoscenti (mixed-media artist Betye Saar and art conservator Richard Saar), she received her B.A. from Scripps College in Claremont, and an MFA from Otis Art Institute in L.A. She has been the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, two artist fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and a City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A) Artist Fellowship.
Her work has been exhibited at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, and the Studio Museum of Harlem, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum in New York.
If you go
What: Lux Art Institute
Hours: 1-5 p.m Thursday and Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: 1550 S. El Camino Real, Encinitas
Admission: $10 for two visits
Contact: (760) 436-6611. Luxartinstitute.org
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