Arion Press Publishes Porgy and Bess with Illustrations by Kara Walker
Arion Press announces its eagerly awaited edition ofPorgy & Bess, the libretto by DuBose Heyward and Ira Gershwin, illustrated by Kara Walker. This artist book is the occasion for Walker's first series of lithographs. The book contains 16 lithographs, with another four available separately in a portfolio. Kara Walker has called her images "an homage to the feeling of the (Gershwin) music. And to that feeling I had as a child of a heavy atmosphere hanging around a timeless act of love." You can read Kara Walker's complete artist's statement and a description of the publicationonline. The book and suite are now on display at the Press and can be viewed in New York during the IFPDA Print Fair at the Park Avenue Armory, November 6 through 10.
Artist Kara Walker Comments on Porgy & Bess
One of the most significant African-American artists of today, Kara Walker is known for her probing and unsettling examinations of race in America. Her followers may be surprised at her work for Porgy & Bess, an American classic whose depiction of South Carolina blacks in the 1920s has always provoked debate, most recently in connection with the musical version written by Suzan-Lori Parks and directed by Diane Paulus, which begins its national tour in San Francisco this month. Stephen Sondheim, Hilton Als, and Terry Teachout have taken strong and conflicting positions on the meaning of Porgyfor a new generation of artists. Walker's eloquent account of how she approached the Gershwin opera, to which she was introduced as a child by her mother, is printed only in the prospectus for the Arion Press edition, but can be read here.