In the 1970s, Betye Saar (born 1926) emerged as part of the Black Arts Movement and remains best known for her collage and assemblage works that challenge racial stereotypes. Internationally acclaimed, she has received multiple lifetime achievement awards in recent years.
Betye Saar’s success continues through her own work and that of her daughters, Lezley Saar (born 1953) and Alison Saar (born 1956), who are also accomplished artists. While they too engage with themes of race, gender, spirituality, and identity, often through narrative, each contributes a unique voice. Like their mother, both daughters were born in Los Angeles, where all three artists continue their work today.
Legends from Los Angeles features approximately 20 paintings, prints, and mixed media works, all from—or promised to—the Crocker Art Museum. Many are recent acquisitions, including a signature work by Lezley Saar, the first piece to join the Museum’s collection. In recognition of the Saar women and their multifaceted legacy, this exhibition coincides with Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), and Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 9).