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Bisa Butler: Portraits


Bisa Butler Cover File

The Art Institute of Chicago, 2020

Purchase from the Art Institute Museum Shop.

Available to booksellers from Yale University Press.

Bisa Butler (American, b. 1973) creates vibrant, psychologically nuanced portraits composed entirely of colored and patterned fabrics that she cuts, layers, and stitches together. Often depicting scenes from African American life and history, Butler invites viewers to invest in the lives of the people she represents while simultaneously expanding art-historical narratives about American quiltmaking.

A group of scholars—and the artist herself—situate Butler’s interdisciplinary work within the broader history of textiles, photography, and contemporary art, illuminating the artist’s approach to color, use of African-print fabrics, and wide-ranging sources of inspiration. An in-depth exploration of one of America’s most innovative contemporary artists, this volume will serve as a primary resource that both introduces Butler’s work and establishes a scholarly foundation for future research. 

Edited by Erica Warren

With contributions by Bisa Butler, Jordan Carter, Isabella Ko, Erica Warren, and Michele Wije

104 pages, 8 × 12 in.
39 color + 5 b/w ills.

Hardcover $35 ($31.50 members)
ISBN: 978-0-300-25431-0
Out of print


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