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    Sale 2303 | Lot 147
    Price Realized: $90,000With Buyer's Premium
    Show Hammer Price
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    • Sale 2303 Lot 147

      ELIZABETH CATLETT (1915 - 2012)
      I am the Black Woman.

      Group of 14 linoleum cuts, (three printed in color), on wove paper, 1946-47.

      1. I am the Black Woman, 130x98 mm; 5 1/8x3 7/8 inches, full margins.

      2. I have always worked hard in America, 222x152 mm; 8 3/4x6 inches, full margins.

      3. In the fields, 229x152 mm; 9x6 1/8 inches, full margins.

      4. In other folks homes, 161x57 mm; 6 3/8x2 1/4 inches, full margins.

      5. I have given the world my songs, 186x127 mm; 7 3/8x5 inches, full margins.

      6. In Sojourner Truth I fought for the rights of women as well as Blacks, 225x149 mm; 8 7/8x5 7/8 inches, full margins.

      7. In Harriet Tubman I helped hundreds to freedom, 232x178 mm: 9 1/8x7 inches, full margins.

      8. In Phillis Wheatley I proved intellectual equality in the midst of slavery, 232x152 mm; 9 1/8x6 inches, full margins.

      9. My role has been important in the struggle to organize the unorganized, 156x229 mm; 6 1/8x9 inches, full margins.

      10. There are bars between me and the rest of the land, 114x149 mm; 4 1/2x5 7/8 inches, full margins.

      11. I have special reservations, 162x159 mm; 6 3/8x6 1/4 inches, full margins.

      12. Special Houses, 108x149 mm; 4 1/4x5 7/8 inches, full margins.

      13. And a special fear for my loved ones, 210x149 mm; 8 1/4x5 7/8 inches, full margins.

      14. My right is a future of equality with other Americans, 232x156 mm; 9 1/8x6 1/8 inches, full margins. Inscribed "To Shirley, with love Elizabeth," in pencil, lower margin.

      Each signed, titled, dated and numbered 13/20 in pencil, lower margin. Each printed at Robert Blackburn's Printmaking Workshop, New York, 1989. Superb impressions of this extremely scarce, complete set.

      In 1946, upon winning a Julius Rosenwald Foundation Grant, Elizabeth Catlett left New York for Mexico City. There, she embarked on a monumental project in printmaking at the Taller de Grafica Popular, her I am the Negro Woman series. Her first major project at the studio, Catlett was inspired by the Mexican collaborative political art being produced, including the historic Estampas de la Rovolucion Mexicana portfolio with 85 linoleum cuts and text. For the first time, Catlett embedded herself in her artwork, as "through her naming, she transformed the artist/object relationship into one of profound identification," inserting herself as an African-American woman into a narrative whole.

      As many of these original prints from the Taller de Gráfica Popular did not survive, in 1989, Catlett reprinted an edition of 20, altering the title to reflect the changes in language and politics of the era. The 15th block from her original series, I have studied in ever increasing numbers, did not survive; the edition from 1989 includes the other 14. We have located only one other complete set of 14 with all of the the impressions having the same number in the edition, in the collection of the Miami-Dade Public Library. The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the estate of the artist, and a private New York collection each have a set of 15 that includes both original and later printings. Herzog p. 59.

      Estimate $75,000 - 100,000

      Price Realized (with Buyer's Premium) $90,000