This collage is part of a group that was commissioned in 1975 by author and activist Ishmael Reed to illustrate his book of poems, A Secretary to the Spirits (NOK Publishers, 1978). Saar's layered approach echoes Reed's poetry, which combines references to the ancient and the contemporary, the spiritual and the mundane. Reed's brief poem is included in its entirety on the collage. It is a commentary on the lyrics of Stevie Wonder's hit song "Superstition." The thumbrpint on the collage is Saar's.
Memo to Stevie Wonder (from the series A Secretary to the Spirits [for Ishmael Reed])
Collage of cut printed papers, with watercolor, ink stamps, and artist's thumb print in ink on laminated paperboard
15 x 10 inches (38.1 x 25.4 cm)
Gift of the Modern and Contemporary Collectors Committee, 2017.
The artist (Roberts Projects, Los Angeles)