history of printmaking

Artist Elizabeth Catlett, who said the purpose of her art was to “present black people in their beauty and dignity for ourselves and others to understand and enjoy,” was born on this day in 1915. 

[Elizabeth Catlett. Sharecropper. 1952, published 1968-70. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 José Sanchez / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VEGAP, Spain]

Books Are Weapons in the War of Ideas
Photolithographic poster printed in red and black
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.

Books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can put thought in a concentration camp forever. No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man’s eternal fight against tyranny. In this war, we know, books are weapons.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Listen: MoMA curator Jodi Hauptman talks to the Modern Art Notes podcast about Edgar Degas’s experimental monotypes, on view through July 24 in Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty.

[Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917). Forest in the Mountains (Forêt dans la montagne), c. 1890. The Museum of Modern Art, New York]

Adolph Gottlieb
Evil Omen
Oil on canvas
38 x 30”

On view currently as a part of the exhibition “When Modern Was Contemporary,” at the Mississippi Museum of Art until October 30th.

The exhibition will then travel to: The Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, FL, USA 12/2/2016-1/29/2017; Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, PA, USA 2/26/2017-5/21/2017; Albuquerque Museum of Art, Albuquerque, NM, USA 9/30/2017-12/31/2017.

Day 137

Drew some ukiyoe ladies today. The one on top is directly how the block appears, while the one on the bottom I took two figures and put them in a scene. I just really loved both the bottom figures. They were in the same block by Kunisado II but at opposite ends. The gesture of the lady holding the bowl was so simple but lovely, and I just liked that the standing woman was carrying both a fan and a sword. I want to know her story.

Opening today, Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty reveals the experimental side of Degas through his rarely seen monotype prints. 

[Edgar Degas. Heads of a Man and a Woman (Homme et femme, en buste), c. 1877–80. Monotype on paper. Plate: 2 13/16 x 3 3/16 in. (7.2 x 8.1 cm). British Museum, London. Bequeathed by Campbell Dodgson]

In a new blog post, curatorial assistant Heidi Hirschl explores how artists through history have experimented with monotypes, from Edgar Degas to contemporary artist Elizabeth Peyton. Degas’s monotypes are the subject of the current exhibition Edgar Degas: A Strange New Beauty, which draws connections between Degas’s radical printmaking process and his iconic work in other mediums. 

[Installation view: Elizabeth Peyton. Lichtenstein, Flowers, Parsifal. 2011. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, 2016. © 2016 Elizabeth Peyton]