In honor of African American History Month, Kara Walker! She uses the traditional, genteel ladies’ craft of cutting silhouettes to create a blistering commentary on racism in America, past and present. It is as beautiful as it is shocking.

Top left: Cut, exhibited at Wooster Gardens, Fall 1998

Top right: Slavery! Slavery! Presenting a GRAND and LIFELIKE Panoramic Journey into Picturesque Southern Slavery or “Life at ‘Ol’ Virginny’s Hole’ (sketches from Plantation Life)” See the Peculiar Institution as never before! All cut from black paper by the able hand of Kara Elizabeth Walker, an Emancipated Negress and leader in her Cause, (1997); cut paper and adhesive on wall 12 x 85 ft. (3.7 x 25.9 m) overall. Collections of Peter Norton and Eileen Harris Norton, Santa Monica, California. (Courtesy Walker Art Center)

Center left: Scene from Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), 2005. Portfolio of 15 offset lithographs with silkscreen. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (link here)

Center middle: Picture of the artist

Center right: Keys to the Coop, 1997. Linocut on white wove paper; 117.5 x 153.8 cm (461⁄4 x 601⁄2 in.). The Art Institute of Chicago (link here).

Bottom left: From After the Deluge, exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2006 (link here)

Bottom right: Scene #18, from Emancipation Approximation, 2000. Silkscreen, 44 x 34 in. (111.8 x 86.4 cm)