Thursday, August 22, 2013

elizabeth catlett mora

Elizabeth Catlett, 1949, Mariana Yampolsky


"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. We have to create an art for liberation and for life."

Organizada Negra, 1947, Lithograph

Target, 1970, bronze

Central America Says No, 1986, Linograph

Homage to the Panthers, 1970, Linocut


"I arrived in Mexico City one night and the next evening I went to the Taller de Gráfica Popular (TGP). I got dizzy from the altitude so we all went to a café. I met my future husband that night. There were a lot of us, all artists. Leopoldo Mendez, Pablo Higgins, Francisco 'Pancho' Mora. Pablo said, 'You should teach Pancho English, and he can teach you Spanish.' He never learned English."

"Mexico City was a calm, beautiful place. Not like it is now. It was a sunshiny, green, lovely city, where everything moved slowly. I realized this one day I was standing on a corner talking to a friend and waiting for a bus. When the bus came, I said, 'I've got to go.' But the friend said, 'Don't worry, another bus will come along.'"

Alfabetizando, c. 1950, Lithograph

"I had to meet with five professors. One of them said, 'Why did you apply? You can't get the job. You are a foreigner and a woman.'

A week or so later I was sick in bed. There was a phone call for us at the store next door. Pancho went to get it and then he came upstairs. 'Give me your hand. Now I am shaking the hand of a professor of the National University.'"


Elizabeth Catlett at work in her studio, c. 1983
There is a Woman in Every Color

Female Torso, 1988, Black Marble

Singing Their Songs, 1992, Lithograph

"I learned how you use your art for the service of people, struggling people, to whom only realism is meaningful."

I Have Given the World My Songs, 1947, Linocut

Cartas, 1986, Lithograph