Kara Walker - Photo of the artist in front of her work - Image via Tina Fineberg

Kara Walker/ Kara Walker

United States 1969

Sculpture, Collage

Kara Walker
Kara Walker
Female
United States
1969

An artist who was forced to combat critics and their verbal assaults throughout her lengthy career, Kara Walker is a contemporary American visual artist known for her courageous creative investigations of race, stereotypes, gender, unequalness and identity throughout her nation’s history. Rising above the frenzied storm her artwork used to generate, Walker’s work ultimately stimulated greater awareness and pushed conversations about racism in visual culture forward. Kara continuously insisted that her assignment was to shock viewers straight out of their comfort zones and even go as far as make them angry, once remarking the following: I make art for anyone who forgot what it feels like to put up a fight. This alone is a strong enough indication of what her art is all about and the very nature deeply enrooted inside Kara’s work – rebellious spirit, sharp language and an uncompromising relentlessness in saying the right thing.

home black new paper american york home cut like gallery modern Kara Walker biography - Larry Walker artist Renaissance society installation, 1997 - Image via alanaveryartcompany.com
Kara Walker – Renaissance society installation, 1997 – Image via alanaveryartcompany.com

Early Life

Kara Elizabeth Walker was born on November 26 during the year of 1969, in Stockton, the Northern city of the U.S. State California. Conducted by her father Larry Walker who was himself a painter, there was never any ambiguity in Walker’s heart – ever since she was three years of age, she knew what to anticipate from the future as she craved to someday be an artist herself. However, she initially dreamed of creating pieces of fine art, which might come as a surprise when you know how her portfolio turned out to be – adjusting to the tune of her personality, Walker’s ambitions and artistic goals changed as she was growing older. Throughout her youth, Kara began experimenting with various avant-garde styles, creating pieces in order to tell a story or make a statement rather than achieve beauty or perfection – in that sense, her work was much closer to the earliest avant-garde movements of Europe than her contemporary fellow artists such as Jasper Johns, who also dabbled in explorations of the early 20th century art. When Walker was asked in 1999 to explain the course of her artistic development, she stated: I guess there was a little bit of a slight rebellion, maybe a little bit of a renegade desire that made me realize at some point in my adolescence that I really liked pictures that told stories of things – genre paintings, historical paintings – the sort of derivatives we get in contemporary society. In the midst of her creative development, Walker moved with her family to Atlanta, Georgia, where she would spend the rest of her teen years and later attend the Atlanta College of Art. During the year of 1991, Kara earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting and printmaking at this prestigious institution. Furthermore, Walker received a Master of Fine Arts degree at the same mediums of painting and printmaking, graduating at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994.

home black new paper american york home cut like gallery modern Kara Walker biography - Larry Walker artist - Grub for Sharks A Concession to the Negro Populace, 2004
Kara Walker – Grub for Sharks A Concession to the Negro Populace, 2004 – Image via tate.org

Artistic Launch Without Much Support

By Walker’s own acclaim, she pinpointed the exact theme of her art’s preoccupation in a response to pressure and expectation from her instructors – whether by intentions or accident, Walker started focusing on race-specific issues, subject matters that will soon become her recognizable trademark. The same year she obtained a master’s degree at the Rhode Island School of Design, Walker debuted a mural at the Drawing Center in New York City titled as Gone: A Historical Romance of a Civil War as It Occurred Between the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart. Rarely was there a situation where a student is capable of attracting so much attention with her piece as was the case with Kara and her mouthful of a mural – it wasn’t just the theme of the piece that caught the notice of critics, but its notorious form of placing black paper silhouette figures against a white wall. Basically, Gone allowed Walker’s career to be launched with an exclamation point and instantly transformed her into a preeminent artistic voice on the subject of race and racism. Beyond that, Kara’s interests expanded to include sexual themes, combining them with racial issues and having all her material based on portrayals of African Americans in art, literature and historical narratives. In order to make her work as historically precise and therefore more substantial in meaning, Walker became an expert researcher who draws her material from a diverse array of sources, from painted pieces of portraiture to pornographic novels. Kare also relied on other artists who addressed racial stereotypes through creating pieces, referencing and giving them an important role whilst making sure that the African-American art scene stays as interconnected as possible. By relying a bit on other people’s works during these early days of her career gave Walker an important edge that allowed her to simplify the frenzy she was working herself into.

After enjoying what may safely be considered a critical success for her Gone: A Historical Romance of a Civil War as It Occurred Between the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart, Kara Walker was offered a representation with a major gallery, Wooster Gardens – now known by the name of Sikkema Jenkins & Co. A series of subsequent solo exhibitions solidified her status and merely four years later, during 1998, Kara received the MacArthur Foundation Achievement Award – she was actually the youngest recipient ever to recive the Macarthur prize. However, Walker regularly faced considerable opposition to her use of the racial stereotype, with many critics claiming she was prone to going unnecessarily overboard with her art. Amidst the most outspoken critics of Kara’s work at the time was Betye Saar, the artist famous for equipping Aunt Jemima with a rifle in The Liberation of Aunt Jemima, a 1972 piece that is often regarded as one of the most effective and iconic uses of racial stereotype in 20th-century art. Saar claimed she believed Walker took her art a step further than necessary and even spearheaded a campaign questioning Kara’s usage of racist images by asking the following: Are African Americans being betrayed under the guise of art? Walker was even more criticized for her 1996-1997 watercolors project titled Negress Notes – the piece was greeted with a slew of negative reviews objecting to the brutal and sexually graphic content Walker chose to incorporate. Saar yet again led the critical attack on Kara, expressing concerns that the work did little more than perpetuate negative stereotypes, going as far as stating that Walker set the clock back on representations of different races in The United States. It should be noted that there were many experts that stood tall in the defense of Walker and her art, believing in the honesty of motifs and goals used by the young artist and applauding the willingness to expose the ridiculousness of these stereotypes.

Even with her first large-scale piece, Kara Walker was making a harsh statement to both the audiences and fellow artists

Kara Walker - Gone, An Historical Romance of a Civil War As It Occurred Between the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart. 1994 - Image via mediumcom american york home cut
Kara Walker – Gone, An Historical Romance of a Civil War As It Occurred Between the Dusky Thighs of One Young Negress and Her Heart. 1994 – Image via medium.com

Mature Popular Artworks and New Related Concepts

Over time, Kara Walker became essentially appreciated for her large-scale tableaux of collaged silhouettes set amidst black and white pastoral landscapes, packed with brutal and harrowing imagery illustrating the origins of slavery in the South. Constantly seeking a perfect balance between humorous and provocative, Walker’s practice confronted social and political themes through painting, illustration, film and text. Despite the numerous verbal attacks on her work during the 1990s, Kara continued to create tirelessly and steadily. What is even more interesting is the fact she managed to keep an extremely low profile despite being considered a key figure of the art scene ever since her early twenties. During 1996, she married a German-born jewelry designer and RISD professor Klaus Burgel, with whom she had a daughter, Octavia – the pair divorced shortly after her birth. Walker’s daughter proved to be another limitless source of inspiration, as Kara did not show any signs of slowing down when it came to creating art. After Octavia was born, it is possible to notice a growing of personal warmth and wit inside her pieces one wouldn’t necessarily expect to find amidst such themes – Kara once admitted that her daughter told her she makes mean art when she was about four years old and that obviously had a slight impact on Walker’s methods.

It should be noted that Walker does not believe that her art will have a redeeming effect on the audience, which means her work can not be interpreted as a tool for fixing but rather as a futile cry for help. Kara once stated the following: I don’t know how much I believe in redemptive stories, even though people want them and strive for them. This leaves a strong note of sourness in her art, showing us that we may be too far from any sort of chane to redeem ourselves. Focusing mostly on installations since the moment she became a mother, Kara’s projects often included light and projection-based pieces that integrate the viewer’s shadow into the very image, making him a dynamic part of the actual installation. Walker’s most formidable project to date was a massive sculptural installation that was displayed for several months at the former Domino Sugar Factory in the summer of 2014. This impressive piece attracted much attention and was one of the most media-covered pieces of art that year. In her spare time, Kara was employed as a professor at Columbia University where she taught aspiring artists how to think and create on their own terms, as well as being a dedicated mentor to emerging artists. Subsequently, Walker worked as Chair of the Visual Arts program at Rutgers University. Over the course of her extraordinary career, Walker had solo exhibitions at a range of institutions, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Tate Liverpool in Liverpool, the Metropolitan Museum of Art of in New York and the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis.

Walker did alter her expressive tools during the mature period of her career, but the artist never lost her trademark sharpness

Kara Walker biography - Larry Walker artist home black new paper like gallery modern
Kara Walker – A Subtlety, 2014 – Image via domusweb.it

An Endless Legacy

When you are asked what could have played the crucial role in shaping Kara Walker’s art, you may run into several answers. Some will claim that her father, Larry Walker, had the most influence on what his daughter turned out to be in an artistic sense. Others will claim that the strongest praises must go to the circumstances and the very resistance Walker faced when she was trying to present her work, as that opposition must have surely lit a fire under Kara’s ambitions. However, we must give the ultimate nod to the sheer courage of Kara Walker – being brave enough to provoke aspects of American history nobody wants to be moved from under the rug. She courageously marched forward with more vigor when everyone was telling her to ease up and stand down, as her uncompromising nature allowed her to inject her art with the necessary sharpness and strength without which her work would simply not be the same. These are the aspects of Kara Walker that solidified her place in the notorious chapter of art history and made sure her legacy it to never be forgotten nor ignored.

Kara Walker lives and works in New York City, US.

Featured Image: Kara Walker – Photo of the artist in front of her work – Image via Tina Fineberg
All images via wikiart.org

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2016Art from Elsewhere Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, BristolGroup
201630 Americans Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OHGroup
2016Drawing ConclusionsThe RISD Museum - University of Rhode Island, Providence, RIGroup
2015Kara Walker - Go to Hell or Atlanta, Whichever Comes FirstVictoria Miro Gallery, LondonSolo
2015Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker's Tales of Slavery and PowerSpringfield Art Museum, Springfield, MOSolo
2015Kara Walker: Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MOSolo
2015Kara Walker: Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War Rollins College, Winter Park, FLSolo
2014A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar BabyDomino Sugar Factory, New York City, NYSolo
2014Anything but CivilSaint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MOSolo
2014Taguchi Art CollectionMatsumoto City Museum of Art, Matsumoto CityGroup
2014MultiplicityVirginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Virginia Beach, VAGroup
2014When the Stars Begin to FallThe Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, NYGroup
2014Wrong's What I Do BestWalter and McBean Galleries at San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CAGroup
2014Hyper-ResemblancesMiriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, New York City, NYGroup
2014When the Stars Begin to FallImagination and the American South - The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, NYGroup
201430 AmericansContemporary Arts Center New Orleans - CAC, New Orleans, LAGroup
2014Our Stories: African American Prints and DrawingsThe Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OHGroup
2014Binding Desire: Unfolding Artists BooksBen Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2013Kara WalkerCamden Arts Centre, LondonSolo
2013Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker's Tales of Slavery and PowerCrocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CASolo
2013Kara Walker - Sikkema Jenkins & Co.New York City, NYSolo
2013Rise Up Ye Mighty Race!The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, ILSolo
2013The Circle Walked CasuallyDeutsche Bank KunstHalle, BerlinGroup
2013SIGNS ON THE ROAD A GROUP EXHIBITION AT THE CAC MÁLAGACAC Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga, MálagaGroup
201330 AmericansFrist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TNGroup
2013Revisioning HistorySenior & Shopmaker Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2013Difficult Art and the Liberal Arts ImaginationVanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville, TNGroup
2013Blues for SmokeWexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OHGroup
2013Auf Zeit - Wandbilder BildwändeKunsthalle Bielefeld, BielefeldGroup
201330 AmericansMilwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WIGroup
2013Memphis SocialApexart, New York City, NYGroup
2013We Hold These Truths ...  Hofstra University Museum, Hempstead, NYGroup
2013Roots and LinksThe Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DCGroup
2013Nunca jamás; historias de niños para adultosFundación Valentín De Madariaga, SevillaGroup
2013Art And Activism In The U.S.  Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CAGroup
2013African American Works on PaperFlint Institute of Arts, Flint, MIGroup
2012Kara WalkerThe Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Portland, ORSolo
2012Kara Walker: Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, MASolo
2012Pictures of Another TimeKunstTachometer PALMA DE MALLORCA, Palma de MallorcaSolo
2012Pictures of Another TimeDriesch:Klonaris, Palma de MallorcaSolo
2012Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War, (Annotated)Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MOSolo
2012So, This is ChristmasGalerie de multiples, GDM, ParisGroup
2012Cartografías contemporáneasCaixaForum Barcelona, BarcelonaGroup
2012Cartografías contemporáneasDibujando el pensamiento, CaixaForum Madrid, MadridGroup
2012Philosophy of FigureGoya Contemporary, Baltimore, MDGroup
2012In Search of TimeEli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, East LansingGroup
2012Blues For SmokeThe Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2012Under Pressure: Contemporary Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family FoundationJoslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NEGroup
2012The First CutManchester Art Gallery, ManchesterGroup
2012MultiplicityArkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, ARGroup
2012Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty YearsThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NYGroup
2012NewtopiaCultuurcentrum Mechelen, MechelenGroup
2012Thenceforward, and Forever FreeHaggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, WIGroup
2012Off The Wall: Established Contemporary Emin, Goldin, Hirst, Smith, Walker, WarholContemporary Wing, Washington, DCGroup
2012OFF THE WALL: STREET ARTContemporary Wing, Washington, DCGroup
2012Things Beyond Our ControlFredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FLGroup
2012Dark MattersGoya Contemporary, Baltimore, MDGroup
2012American Prints IiiRussell Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago, ILGroup
2012Faulconer Gallery exhibits nationalFaulconer Gallery, Grinnell, IAGroup
2012The Soul of a City: Memphis Collects African American ArtBrooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TNGroup
201230 AmericansChrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VAGroup
2012To remind: works of memory and monumentMiddlesbrough Institute of Modern Art - MIMA, MiddlesbroughGroup
2012After Tanner: African-American Artists Since 1940Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2011Kara WalkerAlan Avery Art Company, Atlanta, GASolo
2011Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi´s Blue TaleLehmann Maupin, New York City, NYSolo
2011Kara E. WalkerSikkema Jenkins & Co., New York City, NYSolo
2011Kara Walker - A negress of noteworthy talentFondazione Merz, TurinSolo
2011Christmas Group ShowBernier/Eliades Gallery, AthensGroup
2011Mars vs Venus: Images of Male and FemaleGreg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WAGroup
2011Anxiety’s EdgeHonolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, HIGroup
2011NO GOVERNMENT NO CRYA Project by Kendell Geers - CIAP, HasseltGroup
2011BODY AND SOUL - Female American ArtistsAmerika Haus Wien, ViennaGroup
2010Kara Walker: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil WarCincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OHSolo
201021st Century: Art in the First DecadeQueensland Art Gallery / Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, QLDGroup
2010Cut - Scherenschnitte 1970-2010Hamburger Kunsthalle, HamburgGroup
2010Winter ShowGoodman Gallery Cape, Cape TownGroup
2010ECHO: Sampling Visual CultureAlbright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NYGroup
2010Märchen KunstKunsthalle Darmstadt, DarmstadtGroup
2010Drawing Time / Le temps du dessinMusée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy, NancyGroup
2010Le Meilleur des MondesMUDAM - Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, LuxembourgGroup
2010Pandora's Box - KitchenerWaterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener, ONGroup
2010Banners of Persuasion - Demons, Yarns & Tales: Tapestries by Contemporary ArtistsJames Cohan Gallery - New York, New York City, NYGroup
2009Kara Walker - EstampesGalerie Lelong - Paris, ParisSolo
2009Kara Walker: The Emancipation ApproximationCastellani Art Museum, Lewiston, NYSolo
2009MOCA´s First Thirty YearsMOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2009Slash: Paper Under the KnifeMuseum of Arts & Design, New York City, NYGroup
2009Beyond AppearancesLehman College Art Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2009Suddenly This SummerSikkema Jenkins & Co., New York City, NYGroup
2009The Old, Weird America: Folk Themes in Contemporary ArtDeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MAGroup
2009A GUEST + A HOST = A GHOSTWorks from the Dakis Joannou Collection - Deste Foundation -, AthensGroup
2009The Practice of Joy before Death; It just would not be a party without youSCARAMOUCHE c/o Fruit and Flower Deli , New York City, NYGroup
2009Art And Activism In The Twentieth Century:selections From The Permanent CollectionMontgomery Art Center, Claremont, CAGroup
2008Kara WalkerKunstforeningen GL Strand, CopenhagenSolo
2008Kara Walker: Annotating HistoryMontgomery Art Center, Claremont, CASolo
2008Kara Walker  -  MDDMuseum Dhondt-Dhaenens, DeurleSolo
2008Kara Walker - My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My LoveThe Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TXSolo
2008Kara Walker - PRIMERA INDIVIDUAL EN ESPAÑA CAC Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga, Málaga Solo
2008Kara Walker - My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My LoveUCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CASolo
200830 AmericansRubell Family Collection, Miami, FLGroup
2008ShadingGalerie de France, ParisGroup
2008Listen Darling… The World is YoursEllipse Foundation, AlcoitãoGroup
2008In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz FactorLaguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CAGroup
2008WANÅS 2008: LossThe Wanas Foundation, KnislingeGroup
2008The American Evolution - A History through ArtThe Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DCGroup
2008Cinema Remixed & ReloadedSpelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GAGroup
2007New work, Kara WalkerSikkema Jenkins & Co., New York City, NYSolo
2007Kara Walker - My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My LoveWhitney Museum of American Art, New York City, NYSolo
2007Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)Fogg Museum, Cambridge, MASolo
2007Kara Walker - Mon Ennemi, Mon Frère, Mon Bourreau, Mon AmourMusée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris - MAM/ARC, ParisSolo
2007Kara Walker - My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My LoveWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNSolo
2007Kara Walker - Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil WarAddison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MASolo
2007Passages from History. Recent Contemporary AcquisitionsTate Modern, LondonGroup
2007Contemporary, Cool and CollectedMint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NCGroup
2007Global FeminismDavis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MAGroup
2007Global Feminisms RemixBrooklyn Museum of Art, New York City, NYGroup
2007Re-picturing the Past/Picturing the PresentMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
2007Art in America , NowMOCA Shanghai, ShanghaiGroup
2007Haunted ScreensUB Art Galleries - University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NYGroup
2007The feminine mysteriousRed Dot Contemporary, West Palm Beach, FLGroup
2007African-American Art - Selections from the Permanent CollectionColby College Museum of Art, Waterville, MEGroup
2007Fantasmagoría - Dibujo en movimientoMuseo Colecciones ICO, MadridGroup
2006Kara WalkerRussell Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago, ILSolo
2006Kara Walker// A Shut Mouth Catches No FliesKunstTachometer PALMA DE MALLORCA, Palma de MallorcaSolo
2006Kara Walker at the Met - After the DelugeThe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NYSolo
2006Kara WalkerSikkema Jenkins & Co., New York City, NYSolo
2006A Show of PrintsJames Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, NMGroup
2006Expressing Identity - American Prints Since 1980Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, NEGroup
2006C'era una volta un re  -  ARCOSMuseo di Arte Contemporanea del Sannio, BeneventoGroup
2006Brighton Photo Biennial 2006Brighton Photo Biennial, BrightonGroup
2006All the Best. The Deutsche Bank Collection and Zaha HadidSingapore Art Museum, SingaporeGroup
2006Paper Trail - African American Works on PaperThe High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GAGroup
2006Group show (opening exhibition)Ellipse Foundation, AlcoitãoGroup
2006Rethinking Nordic ColonialismNIFCA - Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art, Helsinki (closed, 2006)Group
2005Kara Walker's Song of the SouthRoy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, Los Angeles, CASolo
2005Kara Walker - TestimonySikkema Jenkins & Co., New York City, NYSolo
2005Picturing the BanjoThe Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DCGroup
2005Black Is a Color: African American Art from the Corcoran Gallery of ArtTaft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, OHGroup
2005Leonardo Drew - Kara WalkerGalerie Max Hetzler, BerlinGroup
2005Kiss the Frog - The Art of Transformation  - The Museum of Contemporary Art Oslo, OsloGroup
2005Getting EmotionalICA - Institute of Contemporary ArtBoston, Boston, MAGroup
2005Drawings: 1945 to nowRussell Bowman Art Advisory, Chicago, ILGroup
2005The Other Mainstream - Selections from the Collection of Mikki and Stanley WeithASU Art Museum - Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZGroup
2004Kara WalkerGalerie Lelong - Paris, ParisSolo
2004Fibbergibbet and Mumbo Jumbo - Kara E. Walker in Two ActsThe Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PASolo
2004Black President - The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-KutiCAC - Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OHGroup
2004Comic ReleaseArthouse at the Jones Center - Contemporary Art for Texas, Austin, TX (closed, 2011)Group
2004Provocations - Recent Selections from the Permanent CollectionBronx Museum of the Arts (BxMA), New York City, NYGroup
2004ART:21Sioux City Art Center, Sioux City, IAGroup
2004100 Mona Lisa valent mieux quGalerie de multiples - GDM, ParisGroup
200410 Year Anniversary ExhibitionTaka Ishii Gallery - Tokyo, TokyoGroup
2004Modern Means: Continuity and Change in Art from 1880 to the PresentMori Art Museum, TokyoGroup
2004Pioneering Spirits - Contemporary Art from Arizona CollectionsScottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art - SMoCA, Scottsdale, AZGroup
2003Kara Walker - The Emancipation ApproximationMAXXI - Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, RomeSolo
2003Kara Walker - The Emancipation ApproximationAlbright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NYSolo
2003Narratives of a Negress: Kara WalkerWilliams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MASolo
2003Kara Walker - Excavated from the Black Heart of a Negress (excerpt)The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City, NYSolo
2003Kara Walker - DrawingsSikkema Jenkins & Co., New York City, NYSolo
2003Kara Walker: Narratives of a NegressThe Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NYSolo
2003Popular, Pop & Post-Pop: Color Screenprints 1930s to NowPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2003Black President - The Art and Legacy of Fela Anikulapo-KutiNew Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City, NYGroup
2003Skin DeepNumark Gallery, Washington, DC (closed, 2006)Group
2003Comic Release: Negotiating Identity for a New GenerationThe Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg, PAGroup
2002Kara Walker - Sammlung Deutsche BankMuseum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - MUMOK , ViennaSolo
2002Nat Turner's Revelation (an Important Lesson from our Negro Past You will Likely Forget to Remember)Galerie Max Hetzler, BerlinSolo
2002Kara WalkerMuseum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem - MMKA, ArnhemSolo
2002Kara Walker - For the Benefit of all the Races of MankindKunstverein Hannover, HannoverSolo
2002Kara Walker – Sammlung Deutsche BankDeutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (closed, 2013)Solo
2002Kara Walker - Scherenschnitte und MalereiWeserburg | Museum für moderne Kunst, BremenSolo
2002Kara Walker - An Abbreviated EmancipationThe University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MISolo
2002Disturbing Allegories: Graphics by Kara WalkerVanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville, TNSolo
2002Kara WalkerMannheimer Kunstverein, MannheimSolo
2002True BlueJackson Fine Art, Atlanta, GAGroup
2002TempoMoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York City, NYGroup
2002Eye in the SkyAckland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, NCGroup
2002Whiteness, A Wayward ConstructionLaguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CAGroup
2001Kara Walker Recent printsGreg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WASolo
2001Landfall Press - 1970 - 2000H&R Block Artspace at Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MOGroup
2001Looking Forward Looking BlackVictoria H. Myhren Gallery, Denver, COGroup
2001AutobiographiesKappatos Gallery, AthensGroup
2001SchattenrisseStädtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus & Kunstbau, MunichGroup
2001New Acquisitions from the Dakis Joannou CollectionDeste Foundation -, AthensGroup
2000Art On Paper 2000Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NCGroup
2000State of the Art: Recent Gifts and AcquisitionsWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2000(this is not the place)Ramapo College Art Galleries, Mahwah, NJGroup
2000Persuasive Images: Selections from the Art Collections at the University at AlbanyUniversity Art Museum University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NYGroup
1999Kara WalkerThe Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, StockholmSolo
1999Kara Walker - No Mere Words…CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CASolo
19996th International İstanbul Biennial 1999International Istanbul Biennial, IstanbulGroup
1998Recent Acquisitions and New WorkGreg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WAGroup
1998Recent Gallery AcquisitionsGreg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, WAGroup
1997Kara WalkerHenry Art Gallery, Seattle, WASolo
1997Kara WalkerThe Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, Chicago, ILSolo
1997Pagan' Stories: The Situations of Narrative in Recent ArtApexart, New York City, NYGroup
1997The GazeMomenta Art, New York City, NYGroup
1996Conceal/RevealSite Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NMGroup
1995Look Away! Look Away! Look Away!! Kara WalkerBard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NYSolo
1995Now is the timeTony Shafrazi Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
1994Selections Fall 1994: InstallationsThe Drawing Center, New York City, NYGroup