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History, Labor, Life: The Prints of Jacob Lawrence provides a comprehensive overview of influential American artist Jacob Lawrence’s (1917–2000) printmaking oeuvre, produced from 1963 to 2000. Lawrence started exploring printmaking as an already well-established artist. Printmaking suited his bold formal and narrative style exceptionally well. The relationship between his painting and printmaking were intertwined, with the artist revisiting and remaking earlier paintings as prints.
The exhibition explores three major themes that occupied the artist’s graphic works. Lawrence was primarily concerned with the narration of African-American experiences and histories. His acute observations of community life, work, struggle, and emancipation during his lifetime were rendered alongside vividly imagined chronicles of the past. The past and present in his practice are intrinsically linked, providing insight into the social, economic and political realities that continue to impact and shape contemporary society today.
This exhibition is organized by SCAD Museum of Art and is made possible with support from the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation.