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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mexican Cultural Institute / Elizabeth Catlett

February 26 – May 29, 2010

Elizabeth Catlett in Mexico
and
Shouts from the Archive: Political Prints from the Taller de Gráfica Popular

Elizabeth Catlett in Mexico will present 57 prints of this extraordinary African-American artist’s work in Mexico.  A native Washingtonian, Elizabeth Catlett graduated from Howard University in 1935.  Inspired by the cultural excitement and political transformations of post-Revolutionary Mexico, Catlett moved to Mexico City in 1947, where she joined the artist's collective known as the Taller de Gráfica Popular (Workshop of Popular Graphics, or TGP), which was dedicated to the direct use of visual art in the service of social change.  This mission spoke directly to Catlett’s convictions about using her art for service to people, particularly through portraying the history and reality of African American women. The exhibition pays homage to Catlett, her artistic genius and her inspirational bi-national legacy.

Elizabeth Catlett’s cohorts at the Taller de Gráfica Popular (Workshop of Popular Graphics, or TGP) are the focus of our second exhibition Shouts from the Archive: Political Prints from the Taller de Gráfica Popular (TGP).  Founded in the summer of 1937 by Raúl Anguiano, Luis Arenal, Leopoldo Méndez and Pablo O’Higgens, TGP members and guest artists produced thousands of prints and posters during its lifespan. While their art portrayed a variety of themes, from scalding caricatures to idyllic rural scenes, the collective as a whole saw its art as catalyst for social change. This exhibition presents 39 politically oriented and visually rich works from the TGP archive at Mexico’s Academy of Arts, many of them unedited, and is organized in 7 thematic sections that include the most prevalent subjects the Workshop tackled during its tenure: Fascism, Soldiers, The Press, Horses, The City, Construction, and Workers.

Mexican Cultural Institute
2829 16th Street, NW
Washington, D.C.

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