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DePaul Art Museum turns spotlight on printmaking in 3 winter exhibitions

DPAM printmaking exhibition
Barbara Jones-Hogu's "Relate to Your Heritage," a screenprint made in 1971, will be on display at DePaul Art Museum beginning Jan. 11. (Collection of the artist/Courtesy of Lusenhop Fine Art/Copyright David Lusenhop)
Printed works from various artists will be on display at DePaul Art Museum this winter. Three exhibitions will include works by lithographers Clinton Adams and June Wayne of the Tamarind Institute, as well as by Chicago artists Barbara Jones-Hogu and Jose Guerrero, from the city's South Side and Pilsen neighborhood, respectively. The exhibitions open Jan. 11 and run through March 25, 2018, at the museum on DePaul's Lincoln Park Campus.

"Throughout the 20th century, printmaking has been embraced for its ability to reproduce images, but it has also been seen as less valuable than painting or sculpture in the art market for the same reason," says Julie Rodrigues Widholm, director and chief curator of the museum.

"DePaul Art Museum is interested in bringing under-recognized or overlooked artists and art forms into the program, and we wanted to explore the vitality of printmaking then and now in these exhibitions," Widholm adds.

Rock, Paper, Image: Lithographs by Clinton Adams and June Wayne from the Belverd and Marian Needles Collection

Clinton Adams and June Wayne are widely credited with reviving interest in lithography in the mid-20th century. As co-founders of the Tamarind Institute, a center for lithography based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, they instructed artists and shared innovative techniques while simultaneously pursuing their own independent practices.

This exhibition presents a selection of both artists' work from the 1950s through the 1990s, showcasing how their approaches to subjects, ranging from landscapes and color to literature and politics, evolved over time.

"Rock, Paper, Image" will feature over 30 lithographs, an art form made by drawing a design on a stone or metal surface using a waxy, oily substance that repels water but absorbs ink, allowing the image to be transferred to paper, says Mia Lopez, the museum's assistant curator. However, due to the complex process and the high price of stones required for printing, lithographs had declined in popularity before Adams and Wayne began the Tamarind Institute, she notes.

Barbara Jones-Hogu: Resist, Relate, Unite 1968-1975

The first solo museum exhibition by Barbara Jones-Hogu, who died Nov. 14, 2017, features works on paper including woodcuts, etchings, lithographs and screen prints. Jones-Hogu, a founding member of the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists and a central figure of the Black Arts Movement, was a Chicago-based artist, filmmaker and educator. She was a contributor to Chicago's "Wall of Respect" mural, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017.

With AfriCOBRA, Jones-Hogu shaped the aesthetic philosophy of the organization and was instrumental in developing the group's signature use of text in their works, according to Lopez. Jones-Hogu was committed to promoting positive images that could inspire and uplift the Black community, using her art to advocate for racial equality and empowerment, says Lopez.

The exhibition boasts over 20 pieces and includes Jones-Hogu's print work from 1968-75 as well as screen prints and sketches, ranging from black-and-white images to colorful works.

"Her print work from the late 1960s and early 1970s is incredibly colorful and graphic but is also infused with political commentary about racism and positive messages about African-American communities and creativity," says Widholm.

Jose Guerrero, Presente: A Memorial Print Portfolio

Jose Guerrero, who died in 2015, was an artist and leader who influenced his community through printmaking, mural painting and activism. He is best known for his work in Chicago's Pilsen neighborhood, where his studio/workshop was a hub for art classes, mural tours and political organizing.

The exhibition "Jose Guerrero, Presente" features a portfolio of prints made in his memory by 25 Chicago artists, as well as some of his own works on paper.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, Guerrero moved to Chicago in 1964. He was a popular artist who infused activism and political organizing into community art making by opening his own print studio and leading mural tours in the Pilsen neighborhood, teaching people about the symbols and meaning behind cultural imagery, explains Lopez.

Included in the 26-piece portfolio by Guerrero's students, colleagues and friends are screen prints, woodcuts and linocuts. Themes that were central to Guerrero's artistic practice and life's work, including labor rights, displacement and gentrification, immigrant's rights and social equality, are expressed in the collection.

For more on DePaul Art Museum's upcoming exhibitions and events, call 773-325-7506 or visit the museum's website.

More details about DPAM's three winter exhibitions can be found on the DePaul Newsroom website.