Posted by: sophiabooksblog | March 13, 2010

The Prints of Warrington Colescott

The Prints of Warrington ColescottThe Prints of Warrington Colescott: A Catalogue Raisonn, 1948-2008
by Mary Weaver Chapin
(University of Wisconsin Press)
ISBN: 978-0299233006

Warrington Colescott’s art isn’t known as widely as it probably should be. For someone whose style is as widely ranging and deep as Colescott’s is, there should be more of an appreciation for his body of work, certainly in the wake of Ralph Steadman and similar, more popular artists of the ’60s and ’70s.

Combining a variety of artistic styles (Toulouse Lautrec and Picasso are obvious influences–he even has a piece entitled ‘Picasso at the Zoo)’, Colescott’s work reflects his upbringing (the cultural melting pot of Louisiana in the ’20s and ’30s) and earliest works (comic strips), as well as his political leanings (very much to the left). Social satire is a common theme and he takes aim at modern culture wholeheartedly, skewering its absurd heart with tableaus produced through etching, lithography, watercolour painting, pen and ink illustration and a very sharp sense of humour.

If there’s anything we should be thankful for, beyond the collection he has already given us, it is that he is still alive and working, continuing to produce more art which will hopefully illuminate the dark truths of the 21st Century as acutely as he did the 20th. –Chris


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