Ten years ago, at the age of twenty-four, the African-American artist Kara Walker became the youngest person to win a MacArthur Fellowship (the so-called genius grant). She had burst on the scene three years before with a major wall piece at the Drawing Center in New York. Then something strange occurred. An older black artist, Betye Saar, who twenty-five years earlier had produced avant-garde assemblage art such as The Liberation of Aunt Jemima, began a...
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