Elizabeth Catlett (American-Mexican, 1915–2012)
color linoleum cut, screenprint, and woodcut
22 1/4 x 29 15/16 in. (56.52 x 76.04 cm)
Museum Purchase, Lloyd O. and Marjorie Strong Coulter Fund, 2015.61. © 2021 Catlett Mora Family Trust / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
African American artist Elizabeth Catlett contributed to the Civil Rights Movement with politically engaged sculptures and prints. This print experiments with several techniques to capture different representations of Black women. The woman’s dignified face is rendered as both positive and negative, perhaps suggesting a call for racial equality. Catlett’s inclusion of the multicolored women on the right references the color bar that registers color accuracy in printing. Here, it enacts an integration of the margins (or marginalized) that can be read as a metaphor for the artist’s commitments to global civil rights and equality. The colorful women suggest an accessible and intersectional movement of feminism that would call for the liberation of all women, a prescient forecast that would come into being only during the third wave of feminism in the 1990s.