• Betye Saar, Woman with Two Parrots, 2010. Mixed media collage on paperboard, 12 x 24 5/8 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Emily Leff and James Davis III, 2017.67.7. © Betye Saar / Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California
    Legends from Los Angeles
    Betye, Lezley, and Alison Saar in the Crocker Collection
    January 24, 2021 — August 15, 2021
Lezley Saar, Zerpenta Dambullah: Born under the shade of a black willow tree in New Orleans in 1826 sat on a rock turning rain into tobacco smoke, 2019. Acrylic on fabric with fringing, braided tassels, and curtain rod, 68 x 40 in. Crocker Art Museum purchase with funds provided by Emily Leff and James Davis III, 2019.98. Photo: August Augustsson, courtesy of Walter Maciel Gallery
Alison Saar, Hades D.W.P. II, 2016. Etched glass jars, water, dye, wood, cloth and ink transfer, electronics, found ladles and cups, 30 x 50 x 16 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D., 2018.3. © Alison Saar. Photo: John Wynn / Lafayette Art Galleries

In the 1970s, Betye Saar (born 1926) emerged as part of the Black Arts Movement and remains best known for her collage and assemblage works that challenge racial stereotypes. Internationally acclaimed, she has received multiple lifetime achievement awards in recent years.

Betye Saar’s success continues through her own work and that of her daughters, Lezley Saar (born 1953) and Alison Saar (born 1956), who are also accomplished artists. While they too engage with themes of race, gender, spirituality, and identity, often through narrative, each contributes a unique voice. Like their mother, both daughters were born in Los Angeles, where all three artists continue their work today.

Legends from Los Angeles features approximately 20 paintings, prints, and mixed media works, all from—or promised to—the Crocker Art Museum. Many are recent acquisitions, including a signature work by Lezley Saar, the first piece to join the Museum’s collection. In recognition of the Saar women and their multifaceted legacy, this exhibition coincides with Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), and Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 9).

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