Los Angeleno Alison Saar is an internationally acclaimed sculptor whose narrative, often life-sized works are poignant 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, tin, copper, wire, and other objects that she utilizes in her sculpture 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), Alison received her BA from Scripps College in Claremont, CA 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. Saar’s work has been exhibited at prestigious venues across the country, including 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.
Group Exhibitions thru 1990