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On the Shelf is a site-specific installation by Los Angeles artist Betye Saar (b. 1926, Los Angeles). The six assemblage works are from a new series shaped through her practice of recycling common objects. Vintage scales are among the many found materials employed to poignantly symbolize the gravity and weight of racism in America – past and present – in a continuation of Saar’s unwavering charge to create works of strong social and political content.

Betye Saar

Betye Saar
Someones in the Kitchen with Dinah, 2014
Mixed media assemblage
16.5 x 6 x 10.5 in (41.91 x 17.14 x 26.67 cm)

Betye Saar

Betye Saar
Someones in the Kitchen with Dinah, 2014
Mixed media assemblage
16.5 x 6 x 10.5 in (41.91 x 17.14 x 26.67 cm)

Betye Saar

Betye Saar
The Weight of Waiting, 2014
Mixed media assemblage
20 x 6.75 x 5 in (50.8 x 17.14 x 12.7 cm)

Betye Saar

Betye Saar
The Weight of Waiting, 2014
Mixed media assemblage
20 x 6.75 x 5 in (50.8 x 17.14 x 12.7 cm)

Betye Saar

Betye Saar
The Weight of Whiteness, 2014
Mixed media assemblage
14 x 9 x 7 in (35.56 x 22.86 x 17.78 cm)

Betye Saar

Betye Saar
The Weight of Whiteness, 2014
Mixed media assemblage
14 x 9 x 7 in (35.56 x 22.86 x 17.78 cm)

Betye Saar

Betye Saar
The Weight of Buddha
(Contemplating Mother Wit and Street Smarts)
, 2014
Mixed media assemblage
19.5 x 7 x 7 in (49.53 x 17.78 x 17.78 cm)

Betye Saar

Betye Saar
Weight of Persistent Racism (Patented), 2014
Mixed media assemblage
25 x 9 x 7 in (63.5 x 22.86 x 17.78 cm)

Betye Saar

Betye Saar
Weight of Persistent Racism (Manufactured in the U.S.A.), 2014
Mixed media assemblage
25 x 9 x 7 in (63.5 x 22.86 x 17.78 cm)