The Ecstasy of St. Kara

Kara Walker, New Work

Reto Thüring, Beau Rutland, Kara Walker, John Lansdowne, and Tracy K. Smith; With photographs by Ari Marcopoulos

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Kara Walker’s work astutely examines race, gender, and identity. Walker’s newest series of large-scale drawings stem from her consideration of monuments and notions of permanence and impermanence following her massive public art project, A Subtlety, in Brooklyn. Influenced in part by the artist’s recent residency at the American Academy in Rome, this series of drawings is an extensive examination of how Walker envisions the rise and fall of society. Richly illustrated, this publication includes plates of each drawing, as well as intimate photographs of the artist at work taken by her partner, acclaimed artist and filmmaker Ari Marcopoulos. An introduction by Reto Thüring and Beau Rutland contextualizes the importance of this latest evolution within Walker’s oeuvre; John Lansdowne addresses the topic of Christian iconography and its relationship to Walker’s new drawings; and Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Tracy K. Smith contributes a new poem. In addition, a text by Walker considers her work within the recent political climate.


Reto Thüring is curator of contemporary art and Beau Rutland is associate curator of contemporary art at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Kara Walker is an artist of international prominence who has received numerous awards, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Achievement Award. John Lansdowne specializes in medieval and early Renaissance art at Princeton University. Tracy K. Smith is the author of the memoir Ordinary Light and three award-winning books of poetry. 


Cleveland Museum of Art

ISBN: 9780300227154
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Cleveland Museum of Art
79 pages, 9 x 12 1/2
62 color + b/w illus.
Julia Wachtel

Reto Thüring; With contributions by Johanna Burton, Quinn L

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Rachel Harrison


Beau Rutland; With contributions by Johanna Burton and Rach

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Albert Oehlen

Woods Near Oehle

Reto Thüring, Albert Oehlen, Michael Wertmüller, and Christ

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