Lectures

Sweet Talk

A Lecture by Kara Walker
Photo by Jason WychePhoto by Jason Wyche

Renowned artist Kara Walker will explore the riddles of her life, work, and a 40-foot-tall sugar sphinx.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.


New York–based artist Kara Walker is best known for her candid investigation of race, gender, sexuality, and violence through silhouetted figures that have appeared in numerous exhibitions worldwide.

Born in Stockton, California, in 1969, Walker was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, from the age of 13. She studied at the Atlanta College of Art (BFA, 1991) and the Rhode Island School of Design (MFA, 1994). She is the recipient of many awards, notably a MacArthur Fellowship in 1997 and the USA Eileen Harris Norton Fellowship from United States Artists in 2008. In 2012 Walker became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her work can be found in numerous museums and public collections including Deutsche Bank Towers, in Frankfurt; MAXXI (Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo), in Rome; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York; the Museum of Modern Art, in New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, in New York; and Tate, in London.

Kara Walker. Photo by Sari GoodfriendKara Walker. Photo by Sari Goodfriend

Walker’s major survey exhibition, Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love, was organized by the Walker Art Center, in Minneapolis, where it premiered in February 2007 before traveling to the Hammer Museum, in Los Angeles; the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, in New York. Recent solo exhibitions have been presented by the Art Institute of Chicago; Camden Arts Centre, in London; and the MAC (Metropolitan Arts Center), in Belfast.

In spring 2014, Walker’s first large-scale public project, a monumental installation titled A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant, was on view at the abandoned Domino Sugar refinery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Commissioned and presented by Creative Time, the project—a massive, sugar-covered sphinx-like sculpture—responded to and reflected on the troubled history of sugar.

At the behest of Creative Time, Kara E. Walker has confected A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant
A project of Creative Time
Domino Sugar Refinery, Brooklyn, NY, May 10–July 6, 2014
Photo: Jason Wyche
Artwork © 2014 Kara Walker