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Betye Saar

Roberts Projects is pleased to participate in Gallery Platform LA with Betye Saar: L.A. Energy. The presentation brings together a curated selection of historic works interpreting the symbolism and ideas of the artist's monumental 1983 Los Angeles public mural of the same name through a multiplicity of techniques, images and intersectional narratives. Featuring mixed media collages on homemade paper dating from 1982–1988, the works on view evolved out of several preceding themes in Saar’s oeuvre celebrating Haitian voodoo flags, evocative color, cultural symbols denoting spiritual power and ritualized accumulation, and early abstractions exploring spatial dimension. Saar’s technique of elevating collaged elements embedded within a flattened, decorative surrounding plane captures the rhythmic relationship between both.

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 collaged elements and the interplay of varying hues to highlight a decidedly Los Angeles color palette. Located downtown on 5th Street between Grand Avenue and Flower Street, its location was highly visible due to immediate proximity to the former headquarters of the Southern California Edison Co. – known as One Bunker Hill – which reigned as the dominant structure at the base of Bunker Hill for decades. L.A. Energy was destroyed in 1987.

Gallery Platform LA is a project of Gallery Association Los Angeles (GALA) formed to serve the dynamic Los Angeles art community with weekly rotating gallery viewing rooms and original editorial content.

Betye Saar

Betye Saar L.A. Energy, 1983, artist rendering

Betye Saar

Betye Saar L.A. Energy, 1983, artist rendering (detail)

Betye Saar

Betye Saar L.A. Energy, 1983, postcard and poster

Betye Saar

Betye Saar
Misplaced Memories, 1982
Mixed media collage and painting on handmade paper
18.75 x 19.875 in (47.6 x 50.5 cm)

Betye Saar

Betye Saar
Heart, Dice & Fan, 1987-88
Mixed media on handmade paper
20.625 x 29.875 in (52.4 x 75.9 cm)

Betye Saar

Betye Saar
Black Hand with Cactus, 1987
Paint and glitter on handmade pulp paper
21 x 30.75 in (53.3 x 78.1 cm)

Betye Saar

Betye Saar
The Serpent & The Cross, 1987
Paint and glitter on color pulp handmade paper
21.5 x 29.5 in (54.6 x 74.9 cm)

Betye Saar

Betye Saar
Hot Die, 1987
Paint and glitter on color pulp handmade paper
18.5 x 25.625 in (47.0 x 65.1 cm)