Shadow with Rubble Wall-Laurel Canyon

Betye Saar

“This piece is one of a series of eleven works called 'Shadow Song,' that Saar created in 1988 in the studio a fabric designer Claire Joseph. The figure is Saar's own life-size shadow taken in her garden in Laurel Canyon, projected onto the fabric and then marked out with silk dyes. Since 1985, Saar has been photographing her shadow reflected against various natural environments such as earth, water and, in this case, a rock wall. Exhibited at the National Museum of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, the 'Shadow Song' series was commissioned by the US Information Agency to foster cross-cultural understanding. Saar incorporated aspects of Malaysia's own ancient silk and tie dyed fabric traditions, and in the spirit of an ancient Buddhist scroll, she sought to convey a contemplative atmosphere." Source: Sajet, Kim. The Chemistry of Color: African American Artists in Philadelphia, 1970-1990. Philadelphia, PA: The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 2005, pg. 63
Date of Birth
(b. 1926)
Pigment on silk with wood supports
71 x 46 in. (180.34 x 116.84 cm.)
Accession #
Credit Line
The Harold A. and Ann R. Sorgenti Collection of Contemporary African-American Art