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The New Yorker

War Woman II, 2014

Joyce J. Scott
By Peter Schjeldahl
November 2, 2018

Rousing while ravishing, these figurative sculptures—in colorful blown glass, elaborate beading, wire, thread, and found objects—expound the world view of this 2016 MacArthur fellow. She personifies Harriet Tubman, for example, as a colorful, three-and-a-half-foot-tall Buddha. Scott, who is African-American, adapts the objects, forms, and techniques of African art to unfailingly inventive ends. In “War Woman II” (2014), a carved figurine rises from a ring of cast-glass guns. She stands on a platform of crazed-mosaic glass which is supported by the heads of the family that she is spectacularly ready to protect. Scott’s themes often allude to worldly evils, such as rape and sex trafficking, but always with an irrepressible buoyancy and drop-dead beauty. She is formidable and a great deal of fun.

— Peter Schjeldahl

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