Elizabeth Catlett “Sharecropper,” 1952-93 Editions, Linoleum Cut
Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties, Brooklyn Museum, 2014
Collection of Reginald and Aliya Browne.
“I have always wanted my art to service my people—to reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential,” Elizabeth Catlett has said. Celebrated for her prints and sculptures, Catlett employed formal devices that expressed her civic and social interests, particularly the Civil Rights movement. The artist divided her time between Mexico and the United States, a lifestyle that informed not only her politics but also her approach to form and printmaking. In her sculptures, Catlett channeled a Modernist sensibility, molding curvaceous figures that engaged with abstraction and echoed the civil rights struggles in which she participated; her prints and paintings, including her iconic work The Sharecropper (1952), conveyed her concerns in sympathetically rendered figurative expressions.
American-Mexican, 1915-2012, Washington, D.C., based in Mexico