Dimensions: Image / sheet: 19 1/8 × 25 1/8 inches (48.6 × 63.8 cm)
Acquired through the generosity of Truman W. Eustis III, Class of 1951
The daughter of artist Betye Saar, Alison Saar’s work examines many of the same social and political issues. Her use of a wide range of media can be traced to her early training with her father, an art conservator, from whom she gained a firsthand experience of a variety of techniques. After attending the Otis College of Art and Design, Saar began exhibiting her work, often deemed controversial for the difficult, often violent, subjects she addresses.
In Coup de grâce the seated woman bites the umbilical cord that tethers her to the large ball of yarn, severing a connection that has taken on frightening proportions. The simplicity of the composition and the softly modulated background emphasize the stark brutality of this action, the figure’s eyes rolled upwards as if to ward off the pain. ("Imprint/ In Print," curated by Nancy E. Green with assistance from Christian Waibel '17 and presented at the Johnson Museum August 8 - December 20, 2015)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.