‘Lezley Saar: Salon des Refusés’ at the California African American Museum | BLOUIN ARTINFO


‘Lezley Saar: Salon des Refusés’ at the California African American Museum

Lezley Saar (American, born 1953). Detail from Bemused Resignation, from Monad Series, 2014. Mixed media on canvas, 16' x 12'.
(Collection Betzi Stein.)

The California African American Museum, at its ongoing exhibition titled "Salon des Refusés," presents the rich works of acclaimed artist Lezley Saar.

Saar, a Los Angeles born artist, began to pursue art as a career from the 1990s, and came to be recognized for her intricate works with paint, fabric, photographs, and found objects. With these mediums, she used to investigate issues such as hybridity, identity, and acceptance.

Saar, with the progression of her artistic journey, created a unique visual vocabulary, multilayered with materials, execution, meaning, and intellectual complexity. In her works are found, a recurring depiction of personalities outside the realm of what is commonly believed to be “normal.” Persons different in terms of physical, mental, neurological, sexual, or racial features, as distilled from Saar's personal experiences throughout life, can be seen in her works.

The exhibition, "Salon des Refusés" (Salon of the Rejected) has on display, three of Saar’s most recent bodies of work: "Madwoman in the Attic/Madness and the Gaze," "Monad," and "Gender Renaissance." Alongside this is a selection of early altered books that show the origins of the artist’s interest in literature, mixed media, and marginalized figures.

The exhibition gets its name from a Paris art exposition from 1963, which was organized by a group of artists barred from the official Paris Salon—an event that could make or break an artist’s career. These bold painters deviated from the accepted aesthetic of the time to create their avant-garde styles, and yet they wanted their voices to be heard. Saar, by using this title, alludes metaphorically to individuals excluded from mainstream society, whose depictions appear in the many portraits on view in this exhibition.

"Lezley Saar: Salon des Refusés" is on view through February 18, 2018, at the California African American Museum, 600 State Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90037, USA.

For details, visit http://www.blouinartinfo.com/galleryguide-venues/286233/museum-overview

Click on the slideshow for a sneak peek of the exhibition.