Edition 1000. Signed, titled, dated, and numbered 582/1000 in pencil.
Image size 9 3/8 x 7 7/16 inches (238 x 189 mm); sheet size 11 1/8 x 10 inches (286 x 254 mm).
A fine impression, on heavy cream wove paper, with margins (1/2 to 1 1/4 inches), in excellent condition.
Collections: Chazen Museum of Art (University of Wisconsin–Madison), Hampton University Museum, Lasalle University Art Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Miami-Dade Public Library, National Gallery of Art, Scripps College (CA), Toledo Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, University of Iowa Museum of Art.
“Elizabeth Catlett's prints cry out in protest, proclaim solidarity, demand justice, and celebrate the determination, staunch resistance, and, at times against all odds, sheer survival of ordinary people. For more than sixty years, first in the United States and then in Mexico, Catlett has produced politically charged and aesthetically compelling graphic images of what matters most to her -- the lives of everyday people, the heroines and heroes of African American and Latin American liberation movements. Printmaking for Catlett is a consciously political practice. At the same time, however, her prints -- some intricately detailed and others elegantly spare -- manifest her understanding that the power of an image resides in the artist's command of form, sensitivity to materials, and technical proficiency. As an artist for whom community is fundamentally important, Catlett is steadfastly convinced that her art must speak clearly to her audience, and the clarity and eloquence of the visual language she employs derive from her ongoing engagement with both artists and non-artists. Indeed, it is people that matter most to her.
Catlett's Survivor of 1983 depicts a rural Southern U.S. laborer, careworn and strong. Derived directly from Dorothea Lange's Ex-slave with a Long Memory, a photograph Lange made in Alabama in 1937-38 while documenting rural Southern life in the United States for the Farm Security Administration (the woman in Lange's photograph faces left, while Catlett's linocut image, drawn following Lange and reversed in the printing process, faces right), Survivor recalls the TGP's use of well-known photographic images as sources. Yet, while the woman in Lange's photograph is seen against the background of the field in which she toils, Catlett's minimally rendered background only suggests topography in its abstract linear pattern. Outlined in white, the woman becomes the unmistakable focus of the image. As in her earlier linocuts, Catlett utilized various nicks, gouges, and incised lines to delineate her subject's physical presence, but in contrast to her work at the TGP, this image is somewhat more spare, reminiscent of Kollwitz's later woodcuts.”
—Melanie Herzog, Art Institute of Chicago