Saturday, June 11, 2011

In Honor of Today's Political Protests Everywhere

A current exhibition at MOMA called Impressions from South Africa: 1965 to Now focuses on protest posters made by artists in response to apartheid. MOMA's website includes the following description of the vital role of printmaking in that movement:

"During the oppressive years of apartheid rule in South Africa, not all artists had access to the same opportunities. But far from quashing creativity, these limited options gave rise to a host of alternatives—including studios, print workshops, art centers, schools, publications, and theaters open to all races; underground poster workshops and collectives; and commercial galleries that supported the work of black artists—that made the art world a progressive environment for social change. Printmaking, with its flexible formats, portability, relative affordability, and collaborative environment, was a catalyst in the exchange of ideas and the articulation of political resistance."

Here are some prints from the exhibition: 

 You Have Struck a Rock, 1981
Medu Art Ensemble

 Workers Rights in a New South Africa, 1989
artist uncredited; publisher: Congress of South African Trade Unions
offset-printed sticker

Witch Hunt, 1988
Norman Catherine
one from a series of four drypoints with watercolor

 Meeting of Two Cultures, 1993
Sandile Goje
linoleum cut

You can view the online MOMA exhibition here and buy the excellent catalog here.

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