“Prints and Works On Paper” at HEMPHILL
March 18 - May 6
Ron Adams, Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, Robert Colescott, Allan Rohan Crite, Aaron Douglas, Sam Gilliam, Palmer Hayden, Jacob Lawrence, Norman Lewis, Lois Mailou Jones, Alison Saar, Charles Sebree, Renée Stout, James Lesesne Wells, Charles White, and Hale Woodruff.
The 19 artists presented in Prints & Works on Paper worked from the mid-1930s through as recently as 2014. While the work spans almost a century, it was made within the shared social and political context of the Black experience in America. These artists did not perceive a line where activism ended and art began. Believing that pictures could make a difference, they were invested in advocating for justice, empowerment, and community through education; the intentionality of creating editioned prints in a workshop setting reflects this dedication. Printmaking facilitated a wider distribution of their messages, allowing artists to be deliberate about connection and reaching a larger audience. Imagery portraying a rich social life offered viewers positive self-representation, verity, and aspiration for the future. The private collection of 38 works passionately assembled over a 30-year period, is honest in content and impressive in technique, both captivating the audience and effectively conveying the artworks’ significance. By boldly broadcasting their identities while the art world was systematically prejudiced, the artists in Prints & Works on Paper documented a difficult past and visualized a brighter future.
The artists in Prints & Works on Paper are included in permanent collections across the globe including, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Tate Modern, The British Museum, Afrika Museum (Netherlands), the Instituto Politécnico Nacional, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, and the Baltimore Museum of Art, among others.