'Politics on Paper' exhibition at SUNY Oswego to display the artwork of social commentary


September 13, 2017

An exhibition titled "Politics on Paper: Art with an Agenda from the Syracuse University Art Collection," will open Tuesday, Sept. 26, at SUNY Oswego's Tyler Art Gallery.

A free public reception for this and a companion exhibition, "The Veterans Book Project," will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, in Tyler Hall's lobby. Both shows will run through Oct. 22.

Works in "Politics on Paper" will range from the pioneering etchings of 17th century French artist Jacques Callot illuminating atrocities and warmongering during the Thirty Years War in Europe, to contemporary prints on civil rights and equality from such artists as Calvin Burnett, Elizabeth Catlett and Kara Walker.

"Today, the art of the print is one of many effective instruments in the arsenal of art with motive, but the tangible nature of work on paper is still one of the most effective in its impact and appeal," write the Syracuse University curators of the exhibition. "In a modern society where few issues are out of bounds, artists continue to find effective outlets for social commentary through the art of the print."

A few of the dozens of artists -- all influential in making art with an agenda -- whose works are represented in the exhibition include Thomas Nast, Honore Daumier, Francisco Goya, Kathe Kollwitz, William Gropper, Robert Rauschenberg and Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.

An 1850 quote from novelist and social satirist Charles Dickens sets the tone for the show: "The Printer: Without him, tyrants and humbugs in all countries would have their own way. He is a friend of intelligence and thought, a friend of liberty, of freedom, of law, indeed the friend of every man who is a friend of order. Of all inventions, of all discoveries in science and art, of all the great results in the wonderful progress of mechanical energy and skill, the printer is the only product of civilization necessary to the existence of free men."

Tyler Art Gallery is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. The gallery is closed Mondays and college holidays. For more information, contact Director Michael Flanagan at 315-312-2112 or michael.flanagan@oswego.edu.

Parking at SUNY Oswego requires a permit. Patrons without a current campus parking sticker need to visit oswego.edu/parking for information on obtaining a $1 day-use permit.

Pointed art -- An exhibition titled "Politics on Paper: Art with an Agenda from the Syracuse University Art Collection" will feature the work of dozens of artists over several centuries, including "The Pillage of a Farm" (above), an etching by 17th century French artist and social commentator Jacques Callot. The display will run Sept. 26 through Oct. 22 at SUNY Oswego's Tyler Art Gallery.