the secret sharerer
From the series An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters

Kara Walker, American, born 1969. Printed by Burnet Editions, New York.

Printed in New York, New York, United States, North and Central America


Etching, lift-ground and spit-bite aquatint, and drypoint

Plate: 23 7/8 x 23 13/16 inches (60.6 x 60.5 cm) Sheet: 30 1/4 x 27 3/4 inches (76.8 x 70.5 cm)

© 2014 Kara Walker

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Marion Stroud Fund for Contemporary Art on Paper, 2010

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Throughout the series An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters, Walker manipulates broad expanses of aquatint tone to create silhouettes, an intentional reference to the popular nineteenth-century cut-paper art form. This cut-paper technique has served as a primary medium for the artist, in addition to her prints, drawings, and films, many of which incorporate silhouetted imagery. In this print, Walker uses layers of tone to form both stark profiles, as seen in the couple featured in the foreground, and subtle figures, such as the one hidden in the blackest shadows to the right. The contrast of the flat aquatint silhouettes with areas of brilliant white paper further accentuates opposing themes of pleasure, pain, passion, and betrayal.