Betye Saar Vanity, 2009.
Photo : Robert Wedemeyer, courtesy of the artist & Roberts Projects, Los Angeles

Throughout her career, African American artist Betye Saar has pioneered a highly original and personal aesthetic that transcends the strict categorizations of art-historical genres. Reconfiguring early surrealist influences from the likes of artists such as Joseph Cornell, Saar has painted, collaged, sculpted, and assembled to define a re-enchanted cosmology for our time as seen through her life experiences. To accomplish this, she staunchly resisted the white, patriarchal metanarratives of spiritual abstraction that, during the 1930s and 1940s, distilled the corruptibility of materiality from aesthetic utopian rigour, as visible in the work of Piet Mondrian and László Moholy-Nagy.

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This article also appears in the issue 105 - New New Age

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