Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl's Window

Betye Saar. _Mystic Window for Leo_. 1966. Wooden window frame with cut-and-pasted paper and printed paper with ink, colored pencil and embossing, 14 1/4 × 17 3/4" (36.2 × 45.1 cm). Collection Meghan R. Cavanaugh, Los Angeles. © 2019 Betye Saar, courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles; Photo Robert Wedemeyer

Mystic Window for Leo 234

Wooden window frame with cut-and-pasted paper and printed paper with ink, colored pencil and embossing, 14 1/4 × 17 3/4" (36.2 × 45.1 cm). Collection Meghan R. Cavanaugh, Los Angeles. © 2019 Betye Saar, courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles; Photo Robert Wedemeyer.

Betye Saar: I found a small window in a thrift store. And it had several small panes, and probably had been a window that had been on a piece of furniture. On this piece, this window, I made Mystic Window for Leo. I am a Leo and also my youngest granddaughter is a Leo, so that's a very important symbol in our family.

And I used images of the lion, which is my sign, and also diagrams, sky charts in it. It's a mixed media including etching and drawings and a little bit of painting.

Tracye Saar-Cavanaugh: Betye's very organized – her studio is -- She's a hoarder who found her calling, because she can make art out of anything. And she would pick it up off the ground and make it into art. I remember as a kid, friends would come over, and she had those little stacked drawers that you would buy at a hardware store, and instead of nails, and screws, and washers, it would be hearts, or eyes, or birds, and my friends and I would just pull these drawers out and play with them.

She's a great shopper, too, and would buy things that you wouldn't think you would want or could make into art. And, in her mind's eye, and her creative spirit, she combines things to be art.

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