Mirror Mirror: The Prints of Alison Saar, from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation
The exhibition Mirror Mirror reflects the vast body of prints created by Alison Saar over the past 35 years. Addressing issues of race, gender and spirituality, Saar’s lithograph, etching and woodblock prints are evocations of her sculptures, for which she is renowned. Saar’s sculptures often depict powerful figures, carved from wood or cast in bronze, that are articulated with found objects – material artifacts that enrich the work with a narrative all their own. As a practice maintained in connection to and in tandem with her sculpture making, Saar undertakes printmaking with the same tangible approach to unconventional materials and methods. Cast off objects like old chair backs and found ceiling tin become the foundations for etching or lithography plates. Carved wooden panels used for woodblock prints echo similar techniques established in her hewn wooden forms. In addition to printing on paper, Saar employs a variety of used fabrics like vintage handkerchiefs, old shop rags and antique sugar sacks that are layered, cut, sewn and collaged – empowering the content of the image and resisting the flat repetitive nature of the medium. In the subjects and materials of both sculptures and prints, as Lucy Lippard has observed, Alison Saar pursues the extraordinary concealed in the ordinary.