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Pressing Matters

Lithographic print by Diego Romero

Copyright Diego Romero and Black Rock Editions, LLC

Diego Romero (Cochiti, b. 1964)

Pueb Fiction, 2020

Lithograph, 23 ½ x 20 ½ in.

Purchased through the John A. Petersen Print Acquisition Fund, PC2020.07

Although he was born in Berkeley, California, Diego Romero has spent most of his professional life near his ancestral home in New Mexico. He moved to Santa Fe as a young man to study at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Romero later continued his art training at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles before receiving his MFA, in 1993, from UCLA. Today, he specializes in ceramic sculpture and printmaking. Romero’s practice typically involves the ironic combination of traditional designs with subject matter drawn from contemporary, “pop culture” sources. In this recent lithograph, the artist draws directly on promotional imagery associated with Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film, Pulp Fiction, to trouble the romanticizing of Pueblo cultures by non-Indigenous peoples. Using the familiar palette and checkerboard framing motifs of his own earthenware pottery, Romero gives his figure the noir-ish pose of Uma Thurman in a well-known Hollywood poster. His fictional Pueblo “star” wears a headdress, moccasins, and reads a text titled Cochiti, however. Romero’s works can today be found at the British Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Peabody-Essex Museum, and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. Pueb Fiction is the first work by Romero to enter University Galleries’ collection and was selected for USD by Zoë Morales Martinez, Class of ‘21.

-Derrick R. Cartwright, Director, University Galleries


Pressing Matters

Screenprint in orange and black with block lettering

 Courtesy of the artist ©Patrick Brill 2020

Bob and Roberta Smith (Patrick Brill, b. 1963)

What Unites Human Beings, 2018

Screenprint, 27 x 20 3/8 inches

Purchased through the John A. Petersen Acquisition Fund, PC2018.17.01

Bob and Roberta Smith is the moniker used by UK based artist, activist, and filmmaker Patrick Brill. Words are central to Smith’s art as his work is composed of slogans in a style one would normally associate with political campaigns or protests. Smith uses his slogans to convey messages of art activism and has involved much of his own efforts into vouching for the importance of art education. What Unites Human Beings stems from a speech delivered by Smith to the Parliamentary Group for Art, Craft and Design in Education in early 2018.

-Elle Necoechea, Summer Curatorial Intern, 2018 

Pressing Matters

 Screenprint by Corita Kent of Cesar Chavez

Image reproduced with the permission of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles

Corita Kent (American, 1918-1986)

chavez, 1969

Screenprint, 11 1/2 x 22 1/2 in.

University Print Collection, PC2015.03.02

In honor of Cesar Chavez Day, we recall the many graphic representations that surround the charismatic leader of the United Farm Workers union. We have several examples in the Print Collection at USD. One of these was created by Sister Corita Kent (1918-1986). Kent was born in Iowa but is best known for the brightly-colored, uplifting, text-based images that she created while on the faculty of the Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles. In 1968, the assassinations of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr and, then, Robert F. Kennedy inspired a more urgent quality in her work. The print chavez (1969) belongs to this period. In this screenprinted diptych, Kent celebrated Chavez, who died in 1993, for his unflagging role in 'the epic struggle' to ensure justice and dignity for agricultural workers.

-Derrick Cartwright, Director, University Galleries

Pressing Matters


Resurrected Christ standing on his tomb surrounded by sleeping Roman guards

Lucas Cranach the Elder (German, 1472-1553)

The Resurrection of Christ, 1509


Bequest of Robert Getscher from the Getscher-Wilkinson Collection, PC2014.14.17

Lucas Cranach the Elder, along with Albrecht Dürer, was one of the premier artists of the Northern Renaissance – a flourishing of art and culture in the early sixteenth century in European countries north of the Alps. Cranach began his career as portraitist in the Wittenberg court of Frederick the Wise, an epicenter of emerging Protestantism. Cranach befriended Martin Luther and became one of the foremost artists of the Protest Reformation, painting portraits of Protestant leaders and designing woodcuts for Luther’s German translation of the New Testament.

Cranach’s The Resurrection of Christ belongs to his earlier Catholic period, and formed part of a woodcut series inspired by Christ’s Passion first published in Wittenberg in 1509. Christ stands on the door of the tomb in a triumphal pose, raising his right hand in blessing and holding in his left the standard of the Church. Soldiers lie scattered and astounded at his feet. Christ’s graceful contrapposto owes a debt to Italian Renaissance models, while the skillful woodcut technique recalls Albrecht Dürer’s international success in the medium. 

- John P. Murphy, Hoehn Curatorial Print Fellow