Alison Saar | American, born 1956

Alison Saar was born in 1956 to Betye Saar, a well-known African American artist, and Richard Saar, an art conservationist. Her parents inspired her to become a sculptor and taught her about different art materials and techniques. Informed by artistic traditions from the Americas to Africa and beyond, and by her mixed racial upbringing, Saar fuses her paradoxical responses to the black-and-white delineations of political and social forces into a powerful, visual, and kinesthetic tension. Saar studied art and art history at Scripps College in California and received her Master’s in Fine Arts from Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles in 1981. In the 1980s, Saar began making sculptures and installations that focused on the theme of cultures of the African diaspora. Saar uses the history and associations of her materials, everyday experience, African art and ritual, Greek mythology, and the stark sculptural tradition of German Expressionism to infuse her work with an intensity that challenges cultural and historic references and stereotypes.

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