The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Sunday, January 24, 2021

Exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of American artist Jacob Lawrence's printmaking oeuvre
Jacob Lawrence, Forward Together, 1997. Silkscreen on paper, 25 1/2 x 40 1/8 in. © 2019 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

SACRAMENTO, CA.- History, Labor, Life: The Prints of Jacob Lawrence provides a comprehensive overview of influential American artist Jacob Lawrence’s (1917–2000) printmaking oeuvre, featuring more than 90 works produced from 1963 to 2000, including complete print portfolios, such as the Toussaint L’Ouverture series, The Legend of John Brown series, and others. The exhibition explores three major themes that occupied the artist’s graphic works: history, labor, and life.

Lawrence was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where his family had moved from the rural South in the hope of finding a better life. After his parents separated, Lawrence and his two younger siblings lived in settlement houses and foster homes in Philadelphia until 1930, when the children rejoined their mother in New York City. Lawrence’s education in art was both informal, observing the activity and rhythms of the streets of Harlem, and formal, attending after-school community workshops at Utopia Children’s House and at the Harlem Art Workshop. He studied with noted artist Charles Alston and, in the course of his work, became immersed in the cultural activity and fervor of the artists and writers who led the Harlem Renaissance, Alston among them. In 1937, Lawrence received a scholarship to the American Artists School and subsequently began to gain recognition for his work. Members of the creative community, including poet Claude McKay and sculptor Augusta Savage, encouraged his endeavors as an artist.

In 1938, Lawrence had his first solo exhibition at the Harlem YMCA and started working in the easel painting division of the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project. In 1940, he received a grant from the Rosenwald Foundation to create a series of images on the migration of African Americans from the South. Painter Gwendolyn Knight assisted him with the captions for the images and in the fabrication of the works. They married in 1941. That same year, The Migration of the Negro (later renamed The Migration Series) debuted at Downtown Gallery in New York City. Lawrence was the first artist of color to be represented by a major New York gallery and, at just 24 years old, he achieved national prominence through the success of the exhibition.

Lawrence began exploring printmaking as an established artist. Printmaking suited his bold, formal, and narrative style well, and the inherent multiplicity of the medium provided greater opportunities to broaden his audience. The relationship between his painting and printmaking were intertwined, with the artist revisiting and remaking earlier paintings as prints. He was primarily concerned with the narration of African American experiences and histories, and his acute observations of daily life, work, and struggle were rendered alongside vividly imagined chronicles of the past. In some of his prints, for instance, he recalled his visits to Schomburg Library (today, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture), where he read about heroes like Harriet Tubman, depicted in his 1997 print Forward Together, as well as the Haitian revolutionist Toussaint L’Ouverture and abolitionist John Brown. Lawrence also portrayed laborers and builders as noble figures integral to the community and rendered an animated preacher delivering a sermon on the Book of Genesis with fervor, the latter based on his own memories of attending Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. Past and present are intrinsically linked, providing insight into the social, economic, and political realities that continue to impact and shape contemporary society.

Lawrence remained active throughout his career as both an artist and art educator. He taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina in 1946 and, later, at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and the New School for Social Research in New York. In 1971, he became a professor of painting at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Lawrence received the National Medal of Arts and was the first visual artist to receive the Spingarn Medal, the NAACP’s highest honor. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he received 18 honorary doctorates and served both as a commissioner of the National Council of Arts and as a nominator for the Fulbright Art Committee and the National Hall of Fame. He continued drawing and painting until his death in 2000.

Today's News

January 27, 2019

The Royal Academy of Arts brings together the work of Bill Viola and Michelangelo

Banksy work stolen from Paris terror attack venue

'Discriminating Thieves: Nazi-Looted Art and Restitution' opens at Nelson-Atkins

Bob Dodge to debut Jan. 28 as guest appraiser on HISTORY Channel's 'Pawn Stars'

Oscar-winning French composer Michel Legrand dies aged 86

Journalist, screenwriter donates his papers to the Harry Ransom Center

Exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of American artist Jacob Lawrence's printmaking oeuvre

Underground in Jerusalem, a rare look at an ancient tomb

A complete archive of Supreme skate decks sells for $800,000

Phoenix Art Museum presents global exhibition on art and Islam spanning a millennium

Medieval Africa as a cultural force is subject of major exhibition at Block Museum

Kamel Mennour opens its third solo exhibition of the work of Liam Everett

Exhibition features works from the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Collection with a focus on new acquisitions

HOME opens a new solo exhibition by British artist David Bethell

Exhibition features huge canvases, expansive, room-filling installations and exceptionally large drawings

Exhibition brings together works by 6 artists who trace their origins to India, Pakistan and Iran

Kunsthaus Centre d'art Pasquart opens an exhibition of works by Zara Idelson

Gosport Gallery opens exhibition of works by Martin Snape

Exhibition revisits the controversial 1968 showing at the de Young Museum of 'Black Panthers'

Lunds konsthall opens 'Remembering What Is: Chile's Recent History in Film and Art'

The Grand Rapids Art Museum exhibits works of art acquired in the past five years

Ponti Art Gallery presents Italian masterpieces from 18th century to 20th century

New York-based painter Richard Tinkler opens exhibition at Team (gallery, inc.)

Focus Iran 3 offers views into the lives of contemporary Iranian youth through photography and video

How Have Museums Adapted to Attract More Working-Class Visitors?

Driving in UAE: Travel safety & road rules

Why Student Travel Is More Important Than Ever Before

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful