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The Republic of New Afrika at a Crossroads

The Republic of New Afrika at a Crossroads


Kara Walker

(American, b. 1969)

Raw pigment and watercolor medium, graphite, and (paper) collage on paper

Overall: 287 x 532.1 x 8.3 cm (113 x 209 1/2 x 3 1/4 in.); Left: 287 x 264.8 x 8.3 cm (113 x 104 1/4 x 3 1/4 in.); Right: 287 x 266.1 x 8.3 cm (113 x 104 3/4 x 3 1/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2016.54


This singular drawing is at odds with Walker’s clear cut figurative work, seeking to disrupt legibility with abstraction and ambiguity. Indeed, a tangle of bodies in chaotic motion covers the entire surface of the paper. The black separatist group mentioned in this work’s title sought to create a sovereign country for African Americans within the southern United States. The tumultuous composition raises the question of what the consequences would have been had the utopian plan gained momentum.

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