Making the Cut

This show captures an artist in an unresolved period of growth. Since her 1996 exhibition at Wooster Gardens, Walker was included in the 1997 Whitney Biennial, has appeared on the cover of Friezetwice, and this year was awarded a MacArthur "genius" grant. That amount of attention, combined with the backlash, was bound to have a warping effect.

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Kara Walker
Wooster Gardens
558 Broadway
Through November 28

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Maybe Cut, another large silhouette, is a portrait of the artist caught in this vortex. In it, a black girl jumps for joy, clicks her heels, and slits her wrists with a razor blade. Beautiful plumes of blood arc. Walker's tool, the razor, is also the source of her mortification and her liberation. She is cut, bleeds, but is in hysterical ecstasy. She lives.

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