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Last updated: 6-28-14
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / Old Master Drawings and Prints / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists
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Original Prints and a Drawing: Warrington Colescott (American, b. 1921)

20th-Century Drawings / 20th-Century Drawings 2

Pre 1960s French Drawings: André Barbier / Besnard / Henri-Edmond Cross / André Derain / Leonor Fini
Nataliya Goncharova / Jean-Louis Forain / Mikhail Larionov / Marie Laurencin / Georges Rouault / Vertes

German Expressionist drawings: Hannah Höch / Ernst Ludwig Kirchner / Rudolf Schlichter / Georg Tappert

Contemporary Drawings: Pierre Alechinsky / Joan Gardy Artigas / Jim Bird / Jonna Rae Brinkman / Claude Garache
John Himmelfarb / Wifredo Lam / Manel Llèdos / Lucebert / Nakian / Wayne Taylor / Gerard Titus-Carmel

American Drawings: Isabel Bishop / Aaron Bohrod / Anita Jung / Colescott / Phyllis McGibbon / Joan Root / Simon Sparrow
Colescott on Colescott: "My prints and paintings are narratives, both direct and metaphorical. The intent is moral, if your morality is in my ballpark. The method is satire; comedy is OK, but pretty much anything goes if it fits my drawing concept on paper or copper plate."

Browsing through the over 300 listings for Warrington Colescott on the web, a picture of the breadth of his activities and the respect in which he seems to be universally held becomes clear. According to the Arizona State University Art Museum, "Warrington Colescott is Leo Steppat Chair Professor of Art Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he developed the etching/intaglio courses.  He holds the 'Printmaker Emeritus' award from the Southern Graphics Council and his intaglio prints are represented in most major museums." Randall Berndt, Director of the Wisconsin Academy Gallery, offered a pithy summary of the artist's life and career at the time of a recent show of his work: "Warrington Colescott was born in Oakland, California of parents from New Orleans, and educated at Berkeley. His early family life involved art and culture; the cosmopolitan, outward-looking aspect of his art seems a natural result. The Art Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was the lure that brought him to Wisconsin and printmaking, a very portable art, made it possible to stay. Prints have been an influence on the style in his paintings and there is a continual dialogue between the two. Narration is at the core of Colescott's art: the source of its journalistic aspect goes back to a childhood fascination with comic strips and to his college student involvement in political and sports cartoons. Humor is the lubricant that smooths the way for barbs aimed at humanity's foibles and institutions' cruelties. The pompous edifice of culture, politics, and current fashion threatens to totter and fall when Colescott renders it with his quirky and beguiling perspective." Warrington Colescott has received four fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship, and has exhibited internationally. He is professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he developed a notable studio in intaglio printmaking and taught for 37 years. Colescott is an Academician of the National Academy of Design, and was named a Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters in 1988. Colescott is no stranger to national acclaim. Colescott's History of Printmaking series toured nationally in the late 70s and early 1980s and Warrington Colescott: Forty Years of Printmaking, organized by the Elvehjem Museum of Art, circulated nationally in 1988-90. Etched in Acid: Warrington Colescott, a profile of the internationally known Wisconsin artist shown on PBS received a Golden Eagle Award. Colescott's work is included at the the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, the New York Public Library, and the Brooklyn Museum (NY), the National Gallery of Art, the Library of Congress, and The National Print Collection of the Smithsonian Institution (Washington D.C.), the Minneapolis Art Center and the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), the Tate Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, the Bibliothèque National, Paris, and numerous other museums in the US and abroad.

Selected Bibliography: Mary Chapin Weaver, The Prints of Warrington Colescott, 1948-2008: A Catalogue Raisonné (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2008); Warrington Colescott, A History of Printmaking (Madison: Madison Art Center, 1979); Warrington Colescott and Arthur Hove, Progressive Printmakers: Wisconsin Artists And The Print (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1999); Richard Cox and Carlton Overland, Warrington Colescott, forty years of printmaking: a retrospective, 1948-88 (Madison: Elvehjem Museum of Art, 1988); Pat Gilmore, Warrington Colescott (Milwaukee: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1996); Debbie Veil, "Warrington Colescott: Between Tragedy and High Comedy," American Artist, May 1978, 60-65, 102-109 .
Dillinger: The Breakout from the Indiana Pen. Original color viscosity intaglio, 1966. Edition: fifty signed and numbered impressions, of which ours is n. 7/50. Colescott, perhaps the most serious satirist American art has enjoyed, combines marvellous technique with a biting wit. This etching is part of a series on John Dillinger, the gangster-hero of the 1930s, and J. Edgar Hoover, his arch-enemy. In Colescott's view, America wasn't big enough for two folk heroes, and Hoover made sure that he and the F. B. I. were the winners. Image size: 916x570mm (36x22-3/8 inches). Price: $2500.
History of Printmaking: Rembrandt Bankrupt–Small Plate (Chapin 212). Original color intaglio, 1978. 75 signed & numbered impressions. In the large version of this subject, one of the two collector's in the foreground is whispering to the other, "Prints are a good investment" as Rembrandt's prints lie scattered on the floor and in the background. Besides his own prints, some of which are now more-or-less priceless, Rembrandt also had albums full of prints and drawings by his predecessors. Another impression of this work was purchased by the Smithsonian Institution and is part of the National Print Collection. Image size: 300x402mm. Price: $1500.
History of Printmaking: Ben Franklin at Versailles (Chapin 214). Original color etching, aquatint, and stencil on on Arches, 1976. Ben Franklin, while ambassador to the colonies in France, set up a printing press and printed pictorial broadsheets dealing with satire and comments on gossip and scandal. Printed in an edition of 50 impressions. Ours is the "bon à tirer" proof (OK to print) that was the model for the printers to ensure that each print in the edition was the exact match for the proof the artist had signed off on. In Colescott's revsioning, Franklin, to the left of a messy bed, is printing his etchings. Annotated "Bon-a-tirer" lower left, titled at center, signed and dated lower right. Image size: 348x500mm. Paper size: 503x653mm. Price: $2000.
History of Printmaking: Goya studies war. Original color intaglio, 1976. 75 signed & numbered impressions. One of the most savage satires in the entire History of Printmaking series. Colescott contrasts Goya's "studies," the outrage of Napoleonic era French officers in Paris (upper left), and the present reduction of art to "collectibles" (lower right). Image size: 556x708mm. Price: SOLD.
History of Printmaking: Senefelder Receives the Secrets of Lithography (Chapin 216). Original color etching, aquatint, and stencil on on Arches, 1976. In this chapter of The History of Printmaking, Senefelder, surrounded by various unnatural creatures, receives the secrets of lithography from a lightning-hurling Wotan. Printed in an edition of 50 impressions. Ours is the "bon à tirer" proof (OK to print) that was the model for the printers to ensure that each print in the edition was the exact match for the proof the artist had signed off on. Naturally, Senefelder learning how to make a lithograph, is shown to us in a mixed-media intaglio print. Annotated "Bon-a-tirer" lower left, titled at center, signed and dated lower right. Image size: 348x500mm. Paper size: 503x664mm. Price: $2500.
History of Printmaking: Stanley William Hayter makes an etching(Chapin 223). Original color lithograph, 1976. After completing two etchings on this subject for his History of Printmaking, Colescott executed this lithograph at the Lakeside Studio in MIchigan an edition of 50 signed and numbered impressions. Ours is an unsigned trial proof on oversize wove paper measuring 510x661mm. Hayter is presented as presiding over a workshop of very busy master printers. Image size: 293x382mm. Price: $500.
History of Printmaking: Stanley William Hayter makes an etching (Chapin 223). Original color lithograph, 1975. After completing two etchings on this subject for his History of Printmaking, Colescott executed this lithograph at the Lakeside Studio in an edition of 50 signed and numbered impressions. Printed on cream wove paper, annotated "Bon-a-tirer" lower left, titled at center, signed and dated lower right. Hayter is presented as presiding over a workshop of very busy master printers. Image size: 293x382mm. Paper size: 510x662mm. Price: $2000.
History of Printmaking: Lasansky Reaches Iowa City (Chapin 225). Original color lithograph on Arches paper, 1975. Lasansky (b. Argentina, 1914) came to the U.S. as a Guggenheim Fellow in 1943 and joined the University of Iowa art faculty in 1945 to set up a printmaking department. Printed on cream wove paper, annotated "Bon-a-tirer" lower left, titled at center, signed and dated lower right. Pinholes at all four corners. Lasansky enters at left, carrying his etching portfolios into a land of football, majorettes, and drunks. Stained top left and at the extreme right paper edge, far from the image in both cases. Image size: 300x395mm. Paper size: 510x662mm. Price: $2000.
History of Printmaking: The last printmaker. Original watercolor, 1977. One of the prepatory sketches for the etching of the same title in Colescott's celebrated "History of Printmaking" series. Image size: 354x280mm. Price: SOLD.

Spaightwood Galleries, Inc.

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