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Delta Blues

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Delta Blues

Artist: Alison Saar (American, born 1956)

Date: 1998
Medium: Hammered copper with nails over wood
Overall: 38 x 18 x 25in. (96.5 x 45.7 x 63.5cm)
Signed: Left shin (black marker): 'A. SAAR' Right shin (black marker): '1998'
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 2002.24
Label Text
In Delta Blues, Alison Saar creates a kneeling figure whose head tilts to one side and whose hair wraps around her body. The sculpture evokes associations to the Judeo-Christian genesis story of Eve being seduced by Satan, in the form of a snake. It can be understood metaphorically, too, as other kinds of seductions; Saar notes, "your hair is like a serpent that's drawing you into trouble and pulling you different ways and guiding in different directions." She extends the metaphor, though, to include a river, a symbol of fluidity and of escape. The woman's tilted head further suggests she is in a dreamlike state, a reverie, about which Saar has said, "it's like she's twined up and caught up in this…this insulated world of her very own…I always see [the turned head] as being between two worlds, that you're not here but haven't trespassed into the other thing."


© Alison Saar