Kara Walker, Prince McVeigh and the Turner Blasphemies, 2021 / Courtesy of the artist and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, Sprüth Magers, Berlin
Kara Walker: Back of Hand / Prince McVeigh and the Turner Blasphemies
Sep 21 – Dec 3, 2023
Georgetown University Art Galleries
Washington, USA

The Georgetown University Art Galleries are thrilled to present Kara Walker: Back of Hand in their de la Cruz Art Gallery, for the first exhibition of these new works in Washington by this internationally renowned artist. The exhibition displays a series of new works on paper by Kara Walker that examine themes such as complicity, racism, misremembered histories, and the violence that undergirds the legacy of the South. The exhibition was organized for display at the Athenaeum, the University of Georgia’s contemporary art space, by Dr. Katie Geha. When viewing the exhibition at Georgetown, we encourage visitors to consider the history of enslavement at this institution, making connections between Walker’s images and the landscape of the University’s own violent past.

In the University’s Lucille M. and Richard F. X. Spagnuolo Art Gallery, Kara Walker: Prince McVeigh and the Turner Blasphemies subverts and reframes the visual presentation of modern American myth-making. This work from 2021 is a 12-minute stop-motion animation where Walker’s cut-paper silhouettes reenact several of the most gruesome and infamous acts of white supremacist violence in the country’s recent history, including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh and the 1998 murder of James Byrd Jr. Inspired by the saturation of white supremacist rhetoric within the mainstream political discourse of the past five years, the film’s creation is prescient in relation to the January 6, 2020 insurrection on the US capitol. Prince McVeigh and the Turner Blasphemies is an unflinching interrogation of how radical figures and ideologies ingratiate themselves within the national consciousness.