Saturday, April 15, 2017

Elizabeth Catlett - born on this day

There are a lot of famous artists born today- apparently Leonardo was born on this day - but women artists, especially black women artists get short shrift. So, today's post is in honor of Elizabeth Catlett. In spite of the blocks put in her way, she persevered!

No other field is closed to those who are not white and male as is the visual arts. After I decided to be an artist, the first thing I had to believe was that I, a black woman, could penetrate the art scene, and that, further, I could do so without sacrificing one iota of my blackness or my femaleness or my humanity. Elizabeth Catlett

Elizabeth Catlett (April 15, 1915 – April 2, 2012) was an African-American graphic artist and sculptor best known for her depictions of the African-American experience in the 20th century, which often had the female experience as their focus. She was born and raised in Washington, D.C. to parents working in education, and was the grandchild of freed slaves. It was difficult for a black woman in this time to pursue a career as a working artist, so Catlett devoted much of her career to teaching. However, a fellowship, awarded to her in 1946, allowed her to travel to Mexico City, where she would work with the Taller de Gráfica Popular for twenty years and become the head of the sculpture department for the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas. In the 1950s, her main means of artistic expression shifted from print to sculpture, though she would never give up the former. Wikipedia



Carla Ives said...

I knew the name of Elizabeth Catlett, but not a lot about her work. Coming of age when she did, her achievements are even more amazing. I love this work. So strong and powerful.

Rachel said...

Wow, her work is amazing. Thanks for introducing me to her!