History, Labor, Life: The Prints of Jacob Lawrence provided a comprehensive overview of influential American artist Jacob Lawrence’s (1917–2000) printmaking oeuvre, featuring more than 90 works produced from 1963 to 2000. The exhibition explores three major themes that occupied the artist’s graphic works.
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 inherent multiplicity of this medium provided an opportunity for the artist to reach broader audiences.
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.
Above: Photograph of the 2019 installation of the exhibition at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. © 2019 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
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 the SCAD Museum of Art.
Support for this exhibition is made possible with support from the Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation.