Illustration by Maria Manhattan
Alison Saar was born in 1956 in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, the well-known artist Betye Saar, has European, Native American, and African American ancestors; her father, Richard Saar, a painter and art conservator, is of German and Scottish background. The Saars had three daughters, all of whom became artists.
Alison Saar’s work combines found materials such as tin, wood, dirt, and roots, and explores subjects including slavery, stereotypes of domestic labor and historical images of the female body. She has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, as well as a residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem.