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“Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints: Revolution, Resistance, and Activism” at the MET

September 8, 2021

“The 4 Evils” print will be in the exhibition Revolution, Resistance, and Activism, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Printed for the Poor People’s Campaign Print Portfolio, this poster was a part of a series of prints that expressed the fundamental principles and core concepts that guided the work of the new Poor People’s Campaign. Aside from the portfolio, extra prints were made and one of “The 4 Evils” ended up in the archives of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Department of Drawings and Prints boasts more than one million drawings, prints, and illustrated books made in Europe and the Americas from around 1400 to the present day. Because of their number and sensitivity to light, the works can only be exhibited for a limited period and are usually housed in on-site storage facilities. To highlight the vast range of works on paper, the department organizes four rotations a year in the Robert Wood Johnson, Jr. Gallery. Each installation is the product of a collaboration among curators and consists of up to one hundred objects grouped by artist, technique, style, period, or subject.

For centuries, art has played a role in revolutions, protests, and social activist movements. This installation explores how artists from the eighteenth century to the present have mobilized works on paper to promote causes or ideals, record or respond to events, and sway public opinion. The drawings, prints, and posters on view relate to the American, French, Haitian, Mexican, and Russian revolutions, the abolition of slavery, and campaigns for and against the dominant political systems of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. As this grouping demonstrates, artists have turned to printmaking, in particular, to call attention to racial, gender, and economic injustices.

The exhibition runs from JULY 29, 2021 – JANUARY 17, 2022

Anti-capitalismAnti-warEnvironment & ClimateGlobal SolidaritySocial Movements

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