Experience the Excitement of the Harlem Renaissance at the Brooks

The Prints of Jacob Lawrence, 1963 – 2000
On view June 20 – September 6, 2009

Experience the bold, bright excitement of the Harlem Renaissance this summer at The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. The Brooks is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition The Prints of Jacob Lawrence, 1963-2000 on Saturday, June 20.

Jacob Lawrence (1917 – 2000) was one of the most prominent American painters of the twentieth century. His youth was spent in New York City, where he attended classes at the American Artists School and the WPA Harlem Art Workshop, working with well-known Harlem Renaissance artists such as Charles Alston and Henry Bannarn. Through the art community in Harlem, Lawrence developed his theories about art and his own person style, which he called “dynamic cubism,” recognized by his use of flat, overlapping shapes and bold colors. While still in his twenties, Lawrence came to prominence when his series of paintings The Migration was exhibited in New York in 1941 and subsequently acquired by the Phillips Collection and the Museum of Modern Art, where he became the first African American artist to have a major solo exhibition.

Over his career spanning 65 years, Lawrence has been recognized as one of the art world’s most gifted storytellers. His work is direct and powerful, in keeping with his life-long conviction that art can effect social change. This exhibition of his 81 etchings, woodcuts, silkscreens, and lithographs explore universal issues of equality, unity, and hope; they illustrate pivotal moments in history and the struggles of the working classes, as well as interpret daily life in Harlem, celebrating its people, music, and buildings.

Also included in the exhibition is the documentary film The Glory of Expression about the artist’s life and work, in which viewers can see Lawrence creating art as well as discussing the struggles of African American people.

The Prints of Jacob Lawrence, 1963 – 2000 is on view June 20 – September 6, 2009 at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Regular museum hours and admission prices apply. For more information on the exhibition and all related programming, please visit http://www.brooksmuseum.org.

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