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Prints and Drawings
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Full-size image not available for download. Please contact Rights and Reproductions.
Artist: Elizabeth Catlett, American, active Mexico, 1915–2012

My role has been important in the struggle to organize the unorganized

1947

Linocut

25.4 × 35.9 cm (10 × 14 1/8 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Class of 1913, Fund
1995.5.4
The eminent expatriate artist Elizabeth Catlett has spent much of her life working in Mexico while remaining active, though sometimes unwelcome, in American politics. This early print, made a year after Catlett’s move to Mexico, exemplifies her commitment to creating images that speak to the culture of the working class. The prominence of hands and arms functions as a formal device to crop an intimate compositional space for the viewer, as well as a narrative device to represent physical gestures of self-declaration, confinement, and control. As such, the central outlined figure—possibly an autobiographical figuration of Catlett—is both ensconced within and liberated from the physical and social community.
Geography: 
Made in United States
Culture: 
American
Period: 
20th century
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Prints
Provenance: 

Purchased from Sragow Gallery, New York

Bibliography: 

Pamela Franks and Robert E. Steele, Embodied: Black Identities in American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2010), 59, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.