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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