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Personal to Political: Celebrating the African-American Artists of Paulson Fontaine Press

May 02 through July 26, 2020

On view in the Goldman, Richard, and Rushton Stakely Galleries


The artists of Personal and Political capture the many personal narratives and political battles of African American artists across the country, reflecting a collective experience expressed in uniquely individual ways. Drawing on the experiences and conceptual interpretations of 15 artists, this exhibition includes a large collection of prints from Paulson Fontaine Press, a long-time time supporter of African-American artists like Kerry James Marshall, Martin Puryear, the Gee’s Bend quilters, among others.

Aptly situated in Berkley, California—a city well-known for civil rights advocacy—and drawing on the San Francisco Bay Area’s rich history of fine art printmaking, Paulson Fontaine Press (PFP) has a long tradition of supporting both established and under-represented artists. PFP’s hands-off approach and philosophy to facilitate rather than direct is evident in the wide array of resulting work that is both broad in media and conceptual approaches. Interesting fusions like abstract expressionism and formal imagery, or transforming a traditional medium—like a quilt—into a print creates an interesting dialog between the artist and viewer. Personal to Political honors the stories and wisdom of African American artists that Paulson Fontaine Press has cherished for decades.

Organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama.


Exhibition preview

Louisiana Bendolph (American, born 2005), American Housetop (For the Arnetts), 2005, color softground etching with aquatint and spitbite aquatint, Courtesy of Paulson Fontaine Press, Berkeley, California


Kerry James Marshall (American, born 1955), Vignette (Wishing Well), 2010, color aquatint, spitbite aquatint, and sugar lift aquatint with softground and hardground etching, scrape, Courtesy of Paulson Fontaine Press, Berkeley, California; Radcliffe


Featured image:

Radcliffe Bailey (American, born 1968), By the River, 2000, color aquatint with photogravure etching and chine collé, Courtesy of Paulson Fontaine Press, Berkeley, California