Alison Saar, Snake Man, 1994, edition AP 3/4, lithograph and woodcut, 28 x 37 in.,
Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation

Mirror, Mirror
The Prints of Alison Saar
August 29–October 24, 2020
Williamson Gallery, Scripps College

Perhaps you can go home again, after all: Scripps College celebrates the return of alumna Alison Saar ’78, renowned sculptor and printmaker, this fall in Mirror, Mirror, The Prints of Alison Saar, from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation. As the name of the exhibition reveals, the Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation generously provided works from Schnitzer’s immense private collection, one frequently featured in museum exhibitions. Mirror, Mirror presents more than 30 prints chosen from Saar’s enormous portfolio created over the past 35 years. While visitors may view the works as of Aug. 29, 2020, the formal opening of the exhibit is on Sept. 12, from 5 to 7 pm, with live music and  light refreshments. The exhibition remains open through October 24. Both the opening event and admission to the gallery are free and open to the public.

Saar challenges boundaries in her work. At times with bitter humor, and at others, with tenderness, but always with intelligence does she unflinchingly confronts issues of race and gender. She attributes some of her work’s spirit to her time at Scripps, where she studied art history with renowned artist and professor, Samella Lewis, longtime faculty member and a powerful leader in the promotion of African American art. Recalling Lewis’ mentorship, Saar credits her teacher with influencing her own development as an artist. To honor Lewis, Saar co-founded and contributed works of art to the Samella Lewis Collection of Contemporary Art at Scripps.

Saar doesn’t confine her prints to paper; working with aged cotton handkerchiefs and sacks that once held sugar, she cuts, collages, and sews, pushing the medium to communicate her vision. Perhaps some of the early inspiration for that mode came about during those years at Scripps, when she studied printmaking with Paul Darrow—her formal introduction to the medium. Taking old tin cans, flattening them, and using them for monotypes, she then cut the prints up and sewed them back together into cans, finally collapsing them once more. “It was about pushing it from being something flat to something sculptural,” Saar recounted in the exhibition catalog. “I think,” she added, “that idea persists in my works…pushing those boundaries, combat[ting] the medium’s inherent flatness.”

“It is an honor to present Alison’s art at Scripps, where she has a special place as an alumna and artist,” said gallery director Dr. Mary MacNaughton. “The College’s collection holds a number of her works, such as her bronze statue, Swing Low: Harriet Tubman Memorial, 2007, which greets visitors approaching the Williamson Gallery. Now, in Mirror, Mirror,visitors can see her impressive prints and the wide sweep of her talent, encompassing monoprints, lithographs, serigraphs, and woodcuts.”

During exhibitions, the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery is open Wed.–Sun., noon to 5 pm. For more information, please call (909) 670-3397 or visit the RCW Gallery website at rcwg.scrippscollege.edu

Enjoy interviews and more artworks by Alison Saar:

 

Susan Stamberg interviews Alison on NPR:

https://www.npr.org/2020/05/12/851769833/she-s-challenging-you-alison-saar-s-sculptures-speak-to-race-beauty-power

 

About the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation
At age 14, Jordan D. Schnitzer bought his first work of art from his mother’s Portland, Oregon contemporary art gallery, spurring his lifelong avocation as a collector. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. Today, the collection exceeds 13,000 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. It has grown to be one of the country’s largest private print collections, which he generally lends from to qualified institutions. The Foundation has organized over 110 exhibitions and has had art exhibited at over 150 museums. Mr. Schnitzer is also president of Harsch Investment Properties, a privately owned real estate investment company based in Portland, Oregon, which owns and manages office, multi-tenant industrial, multi-family, and retail properties in six western states. For more information about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit jordanschnitzer.org.

 

Image: Alison Saar, Snake Man, 1994, lithograph and woodcut, 28 x 37 in., Purchase, Scripps Collectors’ Circle, Scripps College, Claremont, CA

 

Tags: , ,