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    1. #1
      Sun Ship's Avatar
      Sun Ship is offline Warrior

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      Cool Elizabeth Catlett artist


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      Elizabeth Catlett



      Harriet. 1975. Linoleum cut, composition: 12 7/16 x 10 1/8" (31.6 x 25.7 cm); sheet: 18 5/16 x 15 1/16" (46 x 38.3 cm). Publisher and printer: the artist, Mexico City. Edition:60. Ralph E. Shikes Fund

      Survivor, 1983
      Linocut, 11” x 18”

      Elizabeth Catlett Mora (born April 15, 1915) is an African American sculptress and printmaker. Catlett is best known for the black, expressionistic sculptures and prints she produced during the 1960s and 1970s, which are seen as politically charged.


      Sharecropper, 1952, printed 1970,
      color linoleum cut on cream Japanese paper
      by Elizabeth Catlett Mora.


      Biography


      Catlett was born in Washington, D.C., the youngest of three children. Both of her parents were teachers.

      She attended the Lucretia Mott Elementary School, Dunbar High School, and then Howard University where she studied design, printmaking and drawing. In an interview in December 1981 in Artist and Influence magazine, she stated that she changed her major to painting because of the influence of James A. Porter, and because there was no sculpture division at Howard at the time. She received her BS cum laude from Howard in 1935. She then worked as a high school teacher in North Carolina but left after two years, frustrated by the low teaching salaries for black people.

      While living and working in Harlem,New York she was briefly married to Charles White.

      In 1947, she married Mexican artist Francisco Mora, and made Mexico her permanent home, later becoming a Mexican citizen. They have 3 sons, including film director Juan Mora. Her granddaughter, Naima Mora, was the Cycle 4 winner of the America's Next Top Model television show. Catlett's sculpture, "Naima", is lf Naima as a child.

      Since retiring in 1975, she continues to be active in the Cuernavaca, Mexico art community.




      (above: Elizabeth Catlett, And A Special Fear For My Loved Ones [from the series "I am the Black Woman"], 1946, from the edition of 20 printed in 1989

      Linocut on cream wove paper; 213 x 153 mm [image]; 385 x 285 mm [sheet])


      Education

      In 1940 Catlett became the first student to receive an Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture at the University of Iowa. While there, she was influenced by American landscape painter Grant Wood, who urged students to work with the subjects they knew best. For Catlett, this meant black people, and especially black women, and it was at this point that her work began to focus on African Americans. Her piece Mother and Child (done in 1939 for her thesis), won first prize in sculpture at the American Negro Exposition in Chicago in 1940.



      She studied ceramics at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1941, lithography at the Art Students League in New York in 1942-1943, and with sculptor Ossip Zadkine in New York in 1943.

      Career

      Catlett became the 'promotion director' for the George Washington Carver School in Harlem located at 57 W. 125th St. Roy DeCarava was one of the students. Some of the teachers included Ernest Crichlow, Norman Lewis, and Charles White, who was for a time her husband.

      In 1946 Catlett received a Rosenwald Fund Fellowship that allowed her to travel to Mexico where she studied wood carving with Jose L. Ruiz and ceramic sculpture with Francisco Zúñiga, at the Escuela de Pintura y Escultura, Esmeralda, Mexico. She later moved, to Mexico, married, and became a Mexican citizen.

      In Mexico, she worked with the Taller de Grafica Popular, People's Graphic Arts Workshop, a group of printmakers organized in 1936 and dedicated to using their art to promote social change. There she and other artists created a series of linoleum cuts on black heroes. They "did posters, leaflets, collective booklets, illustrations for textbooks, posters and illustrations for the construction of schools, against illiteracy in Mexico."

      She became the first female professor of sculpture and head of the sculpture department at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, School of Fine Arts, San Carlos, in Mexico City, in 1958, and taught there until retiring in 1975. She continues to be active in the Cuernavaca, Mexico art community.



      (above: Elizabeth Catlett, In Other Folks Homes (from the series "I am the Black Woman"), 1946, from the edition of 20 printed in 1989, Linocut on cream wove paper; 55 x 162 mm [image]; 255 x 205 mm [sheet])

      Gossip
      lithgraph 2005

      Awards

      She has received numerous awards including the Women's Caucus For Art. The Graphic Arts Workshop has won an international peace prize. An Elizabeth Catlett Week was proclaimed in Berkeley, California, and an Elizabeth Catlett Day in Cleveland, Ohio. She is an honorary citizen of New Orleans and has received the keys to many cities. She received an honorary Doctorate from Pace University, in New York and was accompanied to the presentation by fellow sculptor and good friend Manuel Bennett.



      (above: Elizabeth Catlett, Civil Rights Congress, 1949, Linocut on cream wove paper; 310 x 180 mm [image]; 462 x 325 mm [sheet])


      Works

      Some of her best-known prints are Sharecropper (1968 or 1970) (sources differ), and Malcolm X Speaks for Us (1969). Well known sculptured pieces include Dancing Figure (1961), The Black Woman Speaks and Target (1970), and The Singing Head. The National Council of Negro Women in New York City commissioned her to create a bronze sculpture, and her bronze relief adorns the Chemical Engineering Building at Howard University. In 2003 Catlett designed a memorial to author Ralph Ellison, which stands in West Harlem, NY.

      She has created numerous outdoor sculptures which are displayed in Mexico; in Jackson, Mississippi; New Orleans, LA; and, Washington, D.C. She is represented in many collections through the world including the Institute of Fine Arts, Mexico, the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Museum of Modern Art, Mexico; National Museum of Prague; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C; State University of Iowa; Howard University; Fisk Unitersity; Atlanta University; the Barnett-Aden Collection, Tampa, Fl.; Schomburg Collection, NY; Rothman Gallery, L.A.; Museum of New Orleans, High Museum, Atlanta; and the Metropolitan Museum, NY.


      _____________
      MADONNA 1992 lithograph, edition 180 30 x 22" TWO GENERATIONS 1987 silkscreen, edition 60 22 x 30"



      Remember... there is no spoon...

    2. #2
      Sun Ship's Avatar
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      Homage To The Panthers, 1970, Lino cut, 40"x30"


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    3. #3
      Fenix's Avatar
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      Nice post! I remember seeing "Sharecropper" on a postcard or something of my grandmother's when I was younger. Her work is powerful.
      "Oh Africa! When shall be the term of thy long degradation? Behold here, even now, I pledge thee, O my Mother, that I shall devote my years to thee, shall work for thy redemption, shall love thee and be proud of thee and glory in thy power now lying dormant and shall strive to bring it to the light. Take my youth, my labors, my love, my all and do thou when I shall have died for thee, take me to thy bosom, an untamed, untamable African." -Hubert Harrison

    4. #4
      Sun Ship's Avatar
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      Thumbs up thanks for recognizing this sister's life works...


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      Quote Originally Posted by Fenix View Post
      Nice post! I remember seeing "Sharecropper" on a postcard or something of my grandmother's when I was younger. Her work is powerful.
      It's obvious your grandmother had excellent taste, and you had and have a sharp eye for powerful art!

      Sister Elizabeth Catlett, is one the many great artist who were and still are telling our story. You’re right; the Sharecropper work is probably the most well-known of her works.

      I was just looking through a book I had over the decades titled, Black artist on ART, which inspired me quite a bit in my youth, for this two volume set was one of the few portfolios in print back then that focused on Black visual artist and especially revolutionary Black visual artist. As I looked through it I wondered like I wonder about so many unsung artistic and cultural heroes, “where are they now?” for some received a lot of recognition in the art world, and I’m sure some of them unfortunately probably fell through the cracks. So I wanted to try to pay a little tribute to some of these Griots.




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    5. #5
      JemChi's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Sun Ship View Post
      Elizabeth Catlett



      Harriet. 1975. Linoleum cut, composition: 12 7/16 x 10 1/8" (31.6 x 25.7 cm); sheet: 18 5/16 x 15 1/16" (46 x 38.3 cm). Publisher and printer: the artist, Mexico City. Edition:60. Ralph E. Shikes Fund

      Survivor, 1983
      Linocut, 11” x 18”

      Elizabeth Catlett Mora (born April 15, 1915) is an African American sculptress and printmaker. Catlett is best known for the black, expressionistic sculptures and prints she produced during the 1960s and 1970s, which are seen as politically charged.


      Sharecropper, 1952, printed 1970,
      color linoleum cut on cream Japanese paper
      by Elizabeth Catlett Mora.


      Biography


      Catlett was born in Washington, D.C., the youngest of three children. Both of her parents were teachers.

      She attended the Lucretia Mott Elementary School, Dunbar High School, and then Howard University where she studied design, printmaking and drawing. In an interview in December 1981 in Artist and Influence magazine, she stated that she changed her major to painting because of the influence of James A. Porter, and because there was no sculpture division at Howard at the time. She received her BS cum laude from Howard in 1935. She then worked as a high school teacher in North Carolina but left after two years, frustrated by the low teaching salaries for black people.

      While living and working in Harlem,New York she was briefly married to Charles White.

      In 1947, she married Mexican artist Francisco Mora, and made Mexico her permanent home, later becoming a Mexican citizen. They have 3 sons, including film director Juan Mora. Her granddaughter, Naima Mora, was the Cycle 4 winner of the America's Next Top Model television show. Catlett's sculpture, "Naima", is lf Naima as a child.

      Since retiring in 1975, she continues to be active in the Cuernavaca, Mexico art community.




      (above: Elizabeth Catlett, And A Special Fear For My Loved Ones [from the series "I am the Black Woman"], 1946, from the edition of 20 printed in 1989

      Linocut on cream wove paper; 213 x 153 mm [image]; 385 x 285 mm [sheet])


      Education

      In 1940 Catlett became the first student to receive an Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture at the University of Iowa. While there, she was influenced by American landscape painter Grant Wood, who urged students to work with the subjects they knew best. For Catlett, this meant black people, and especially black women, and it was at this point that her work began to focus on African Americans. Her piece Mother and Child (done in 1939 for her thesis), won first prize in sculpture at the American Negro Exposition in Chicago in 1940.



      She studied ceramics at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1941, lithography at the Art Students League in New York in 1942-1943, and with sculptor Ossip Zadkine in New York in 1943.

      Career

      Catlett became the 'promotion director' for the George Washington Carver School in Harlem located at 57 W. 125th St. Roy DeCarava was one of the students. Some of the teachers included Ernest Crichlow, Norman Lewis, and Charles White, who was for a time her husband.

      In 1946 Catlett received a Rosenwald Fund Fellowship that allowed her to travel to Mexico where she studied wood carving with Jose L. Ruiz and ceramic sculpture with Francisco Zúñiga, at the Escuela de Pintura y Escultura, Esmeralda, Mexico. She later moved, to Mexico, married, and became a Mexican citizen.

      In Mexico, she worked with the Taller de Grafica Popular, People's Graphic Arts Workshop, a group of printmakers organized in 1936 and dedicated to using their art to promote social change. There she and other artists created a series of linoleum cuts on black heroes. They "did posters, leaflets, collective booklets, illustrations for textbooks, posters and illustrations for the construction of schools, against illiteracy in Mexico."

      She became the first female professor of sculpture and head of the sculpture department at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, School of Fine Arts, San Carlos, in Mexico City, in 1958, and taught there until retiring in 1975. She continues to be active in the Cuernavaca, Mexico art community.



      (above: Elizabeth Catlett, In Other Folks Homes (from the series "I am the Black Woman"), 1946, from the edition of 20 printed in 1989, Linocut on cream wove paper; 55 x 162 mm [image]; 255 x 205 mm [sheet])

      Gossip
      lithgraph 2005

      Awards

      She has received numerous awards including the Women's Caucus For Art. The Graphic Arts Workshop has won an international peace prize. An Elizabeth Catlett Week was proclaimed in Berkeley, California, and an Elizabeth Catlett Day in Cleveland, Ohio. She is an honorary citizen of New Orleans and has received the keys to many cities. She received an honorary Doctorate from Pace University, in New York and was accompanied to the presentation by fellow sculptor and good friend Manuel Bennett.



      (above: Elizabeth Catlett, Civil Rights Congress, 1949, Linocut on cream wove paper; 310 x 180 mm [image]; 462 x 325 mm [sheet])


      Works

      Some of her best-known prints are Sharecropper (1968 or 1970) (sources differ), and Malcolm X Speaks for Us (1969). Well known sculptured pieces include Dancing Figure (1961), The Black Woman Speaks and Target (1970), and The Singing Head. The National Council of Negro Women in New York City commissioned her to create a bronze sculpture, and her bronze relief adorns the Chemical Engineering Building at Howard University. In 2003 Catlett designed a memorial to author Ralph Ellison, which stands in West Harlem, NY.

      She has created numerous outdoor sculptures which are displayed in Mexico; in Jackson, Mississippi; New Orleans, LA; and, Washington, D.C. She is represented in many collections through the world including the Institute of Fine Arts, Mexico, the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Museum of Modern Art, Mexico; National Museum of Prague; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C; State University of Iowa; Howard University; Fisk Unitersity; Atlanta University; the Barnett-Aden Collection, Tampa, Fl.; Schomburg Collection, NY; Rothman Gallery, L.A.; Museum of New Orleans, High Museum, Atlanta; and the Metropolitan Museum, NY.


      _____________
      MADONNA 1992 lithograph, edition 180 30 x 22" TWO GENERATIONS 1987 silkscreen, edition 60 22 x 30"

      Thanx for this information Bro. Sunship. This Sistah's sculptures and paintings are absolutely beautiful. Furthermore, its always a pleasure to be turned onto to other HOWARD UNIVERSITY alumni's

    6. #6
      Sun Ship's Avatar
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      Smile


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      Quote Originally Posted by JemChi View Post
      Thanx for this information Bro. Sunship. This Sistah's sculptures and paintings are absolutely beautiful. Furthermore, its always a pleasure to be turned onto to other HOWARD UNIVERSITY alumni's
      Thanx Sister JemChi, for giving your fellow alumni Sister Catlett the recognition she more than desire!

      I hope our community starts to delve deeper into our visual art history. Some of these artist works can be purchased as cheap reproduction and dry mounted, matted, and framed. Our children need to see this visual artistic power on the walls of their homes. Our history and journey in the Diaspora should be alive all around them and this will keep them connected to their story.

      Peace


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    7. #7
      tyydae's Avatar
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      SunShip, since you posted Elizabeth's biography, I've searched a few stores on the internet for some of her reproductions, and have not been able to ifnd anything under 2,500. If you come across a sit that sells anything WAY cheaper, please post it here. I am looking for her painting of "Vendedora", or her painting of "Negro Es Bello"
      Peace!

    8. #8
      Sun Ship's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by tyydae View Post
      SunShip, since you posted Elizabeth's biography, I've searched a few stores on the internet for some of her reproductions, and have not been able to ifnd anything under 2,500. If you come across a sit that sells anything WAY cheaper, please post it here. I am looking for her painting of "Vendedora", or her painting of "Negro Es Bello"
      Well, I was hoping she had licensed some of her art out to be reproduced as low cost posters like Jacob Lawrence’s estate have and a few others have done. Those prints that are going for $2,500 are high for the average person, but what I would like you to consider one day if you ever have that extra money to invest, is that those type of prints which are as you know limited copies, be they signed or unsigned lithographs or some other artistic process, that over the years they will steadily appraise higher and especially after a artist transitions (we all have to leave here one day). I’m sure Sister Catlett would want to, not only see more of her own people collect and be inspired by her creative work, but I know she would want to see her people also prosper from her life’s journey, for it’s usually white folks who jump on these types of investments and profit, with even our OWN artist’s works!

      I know a lot us may not have $2,500.00 to spend on art, but I‘ve definitely seen a lot of working-class Black folks both blue and white collar blow $2,500.00 on absolute BULLSHIT!!…LOL

      Hell, a pair of gators cost around a $1,000.00

      Also, her granddaughter just so happen to supposedly won on this “Top Model” show hosted by Tyra Banks, and she suppose to be in the modeling limelight now, now that doesn’t mean much to most of us, but I wouldn’t be surprise if it brought more attention to her grandmothers artwork, which possibly means more value.

      And here is also something else to think about, another reason Elizabeth Catlett may not have any low cost prints available is that she hasn’t been approached…just something to think about…I’m just sayin’…



      Remember... there is no spoon...


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