Roberts Projects is pleased to announce the Getty Research Institute (GRI) has acquired the archive of Betye Saar (American, b. 1926) as part of GRI’s new African American Art History Initiative. The archive, The Betye Saar Papers, ranges from 1926 to the present covering her entire career and her life as an artist. The archive includes documentation of Saar’s prolific artistic production and her notable works in diverse media: sketchbooks of ideas, concepts, and Saar’s travels; prints and drawings; book illustrations and commercial graphics, as well as profuse documentation of her assemblages and installations. “Betye Saar is one of the most innovative and visionary artists of our era. She has also, in many ways, been the conscience of the art world for over fifty years and we are so honored that she has trusted us to preserve her powerful legacy,” said Andrew Perchuk, acting director of the Getty Research Institute. “She played a large role in our exploration of postwar Los Angeles art that became Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980, and this acquisition is a particularly meaningful way for us to launch the African American Art History Initiative.” Betye Saar’s pioneering assemblages and large-scale installations, grounded in unique materials and African American history, have had a profound and positive impact on artists and audiences nationally and internationally. The African American Art History Initiative is an ambitious program to establish the Getty Research Institute as a major center for the study of African American art history. In addition to acquiring archives and related original sources, the initiative will establish a dedicated curatorship in African American Art History, a bibliographer with a specialty in the subject, annual research graduate and post-graduate fellowships, a program to conduct oral histories of notable African American artists, scholars, critics, collectors and art dealers, and partnerships with other institutions to digitize existing archival collections and collaborate on joint conferences, publications, and research projects. For press coverage in Los Angeles Times, please visit latimes.com and New York Times, please visit nytimes.com For additional information, please visit news.getty.edu
Roberts & Tilton is pleased to announce the International Sculpture Center (ISC) presented Betye Saar with a Lifetime Achievement Award on April 18, 2018. The ISC’s Board of Trustees established the award in 1991 to recognize individual sculptors who have made exemplary contributions to the field of sculpture. Candidates for the award are masters of sculptural processes and techniques who have devoted their careers to the development of a laudable body of sculptural work as well as to the advancement of the sculpture field as a whole. Additionally, on April 24, 2018, Betye Saar was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Skowhegan. Image: Portrait of Betye Saar by Jason Schmidt.
Roberts & Tilton is pleased announce Betye Saar’s participation in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power at Tate Modern. Spanning the period 1963-83, the exhibition explores how the category ‘Black Art’ was defined, rejected and redefined by artists across the United States. Most of the works will be on display in the UK for the first time and the Tate Modern exhibition will shine a bright light on the vital contribution of black artists to a crucial period in American art. Betye Saar will be represented with iconic historical assemblage works in addition to an abridged installation of her 1973 California State University, Los Angeles exhibition. A fully illustrated catalogue published by Tate/D.A.P. accompanies the exhibition. Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power is curated by Mark Godfrey and Zoe Whitley, with assistant curator Priyesh Mistry. Following its presentation at Tate Modern, the exhibition will travel to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas (February 2 – April 23, 2018) and the Brooklyn Museum, New York (September 7, 2018 – February 3, 2019). Image (front/back): Betye Saar House of the Head, 1971, mixed media assemblage, 40 x 20 x 3 in (101.6 x 50.8 x 7.6 cm) Private Collection, Los Angeles, courtesy of the Artist and Roberts & Tilton, Los Angeles, California. © Betye Saar. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer. For additional information, please visit tate.org.uk
The Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) presents Betye Saar: Keepin’ It Clean, a solo presentation of the seminal contemporary artist’s washboard assemblage sculptures, which she began in the late 1990s and continues to make to this day. Born in 1926, Saar is a prolific artist and iconic figure of the Black Arts Movement of the 1970s, whose complex assemblage sculptures address race, memory, and Black consciousness. Curated in close collaboration with the artist, the exhibition presents twenty-four new and historic works that center the washboard as a symbol of the unresolved legacy of slavery and the subsequent oppressive systems facing Black Americans today, particularly Black women. Saar’s renewed focus on making washboard assemblages stands as an urgent act of cleansing the race- and gender-based violence that American society continues to inflict. In Saar’s own words, “the increase of police shootings and the Black Lives Matter protests are examples that America has not yet cleaned up her act.” For additional information, please visit cafam.org