Alison Saar

Alison Saar (b. 1956 in Los Angeles, California) grew up in an artistic environment. Her mother is the acclaimed collagist and assemblage artist Betye Saar and her father, Richard Saar, was a painter and art conservator. Through her sculpture, drawings, and prints, Alison Saar explores the subjects of racism, sexism, ageism, and the specific challenges of being bi-racial in America. Saar’s style encompasses a multitude of personal, artistic, and cultural references that reflect the plurality of her experiences. She often incorporates found objects such as rough-hewn wood, old tin ceiling panels, nails, shards of pottery, and glass vessels into her sculptures or chooses to draw and print on vintage fabrics instead of paper. Her work depicts defiant and strong figures and boldly comments on issues relating to gender, race, heritage, and history. Saar received her BA from Scripps College and her MFA from Otis College of Art and Design. She has been awarded many distinguished honors, including a residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem and awards from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She has been commissioned to create many public installations, including a sculpture for the Harriet Tubman Memorial in New York and a monument to the Great Northern Migration in Chicago. Most recently, she was commissioned to create a 12-foot-tall figural sculpture to coincide with her notable solo exhibition Of Aether and Earthe, presented by The Armory Center for the Arts and the Benton Museum of Art in 2020-21. A major exhibition of her prints was first shown at the University of North Texas before it toured to seven other institutions (2019-22). She has received the SGCI Lifetime Achievement Award in Printmaking, Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship, Anonymous Was A Woman grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and more. Her work can be found in numerous museum collections, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Museum of Modern Art in New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, to name a few. Alison Saar lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

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