I Am: Prints by Elizabeth Catlett

from the University of Iowa Museum of Art Collections

Monday, March 31, 2014-Friday, May 30, 2014

Opening Reception | Sunday, April 6, 2PM-4PM

Sean O’Harrow Presentation at 2:30pm

Director, University of Iowa Museum of Art

The Maquoketa Art Experience is pleased to present the exhibition I AM: Prints by Elizabeth Catlett, March 31 through May 30, 2014. Catlett was an American artist best known for the sculptures and prints she produced over the course of her career, from the 1940s into the 21st century. This exhibition is a pioneering collaboration with the University of Iowa Museum of Art and its Legacies for Iowa Collections Sharing Project, which is supported by the Matthew Bucksbaum family.

Influenced by the realism of Iowa’s Grant Wood, Catlett (1915‒2012) sought to explore artistically the world she knew intimately—that of African American women and mothers. With Wood as her professor, Catlett was the first student to receive a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the University of Iowa (1940). She ultimately matured into one of the premier artists of our time. In her work, Catlett melded the approaches of American Regionalism and Social and Socialist Realism with the concepts and methods of approaches as diverse as Modernism, German Expressionism, Pre-Hispanic and African Art, to ultimately create an art inspired by her vision of the dignity and humanity of all people. She often included in her vision many of the leading figures of the Civil Rights movement and honored them in her work.

In 1946, as a Julius Rosenwald Foundation Fellow, Elizabeth Catlett moved to Mexico City to make prints at Taller de Gráfica Popular (People’s Graphic Arts Workshop). Sensitive to the many indignities and injustices which colonialism had subjected upon the indigenous Mexican people, Catlett championed the development of an emerging Mexican identity, accompanied by needed reforms in literacy and land tenure, in the linoleum block, woodcut, and lithograph prints she created with the TGP community of artists.

The Maquoketa Art Experience is proud to display these works for the residents of Jackson County and surrounding communities. A reception for the Catlett exhibition will be held Sunday, April 6, from 2:00 until 4:00 p.m. Refreshments will be provided.