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Kara Walker at the Vienna MuseumsQuartier

Aus: The Emancipation Approximation, 1999-2000

With Kara Walker – Collection of the Deutsche Bank, the Museum Moderner Kunst (MUMOK) of the Ludwig Foundation in Vienna will be showing a large exhibition of the works of Kara Walker, who was born in California in 1969. The show can be seen from December 6, 2002 until February 16, 2003 in the MUMOK Factory. Fifty-five works by the artist from the collection of the Deutsche Bank – whose center is comprised by "The Emancipation Approximation" from 1999/2000, a work consisting of several parts – will be augmented by loans from other collections, such as the Dakis Collection. The travelling exhibition was made possible by the art department of the Deutsche Bank and the Vienna branch of the Deutsche Bank. Following sojourns in Mannheim, Berlin, and Arnheim, Vienna will now be the final station of this exhibition series.

Aus: The Emancipation
Approximation, 1999-2000

Ohne Titel, 1994 - 1995

Kara Walker, who has achieved international renown in only a few years, addresses the continually reproduced preconditions of racism and sexism. She critically illuminates these in large cutouts, but also in smaller collages, photographs, and drawings. Kara Walker became known in Vienna with her Iron Curtain for the Viennese State Opera, created for the 1998/99 playing season. Studies and sketches for this work can be seen in the exhibition. In the silhouette images of figures reminiscent of fairy tales, she reveals the undesirable and eerie aspects of German-language culture that she experienced as an African American in Vienna and subsequently subjected to a critical examination. Kara Walker’s work attacks social inequality, especially the Black History of the American South. The artist uses the medium of the silhouette to create concise narratives that unmask cliches and stereotypes and alert us to latent racism, or, as she says, "I wait for the unintended offense, the racist comment."

Kara Walker studied at the Atlanta College of Art (Atlanta, Georgia) and at the Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, Rhode Island). In 1999, she won the prestigious grant of the MacArthur Foundation and represented the United States at the 25th Biennale in São Paulo. Kara Walker lives and works in New York, where she is a professor at Columbia University.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a catalogue by the collection of the Deutsche Bank will be published in German and English (20 €).

Aus: The Emancipation Approximation, 1999-2000

To read more about Kara Walker’s work, visit the archive at, where you can find an interview between the artist and the African American author Darius James as well as Karsten Kredel’s essay "Blasphemous Blackness! – The Ironic Masquerades of Kara Walker."