In July 1983, Betye Saar was commissioned to create a large-scale public art initiative for the city of Los Angeles. Entitled L.A. Energy, the joyful mural incorporated several key motifs of Saar’s practice, including collage and the interplay of varying hues to highlight a decidedly Los Angeles color palette.
In this selection of poetry by Betye Saar from 1977-97, the artist contemplates themes of ancestry, identity, memory and ritualized art making. Intimate and autobiographical, they afford a glimpse of the artist’s visual thinking and reveal aspects of her distinctive creative process. This presentation additionally highlights related artworks, archival photographs and ephemera, underlining the expansive and fluid nature of Saar’s practice.