$15, $10 students and seniors, free for members and children under 12. Pay-what-you-wish admission on Fri, 6pm-9pm
L at Eighth Ave.; 1, 2, 3 at 14th St.
There are no more dates for this event.
In 1992, a year before starting her MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design, Kara Walker, then 22—and only five years from winning a MacArthur “genius” award—had an epiphany while looking at a nineteenth-century silhouette of a young black girl in profile. She later recalled that it “kind of saved me.” Two years later, I had an epiphany in an MFA student’s studio in the same school, having just seen something—either a cutout silhouette or a drawing in what looked like chocolate—of a plantation worker. “What is that?” I asked. The young woman said, “It’s by my classmate Kara Walker.” I felt like a thunderbolt had hit the back of my head. This was an image of mad America. I was sickened, thrilled, and terrified. There’s a good chance you’ll have some of those feelings, as well as a guttural jolt of what James Joyce called the nightmare of history, in Kara Walker’s bitterly beautiful, psychically naked, carnal charnel house of a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art.