Figuring the Abstract in Social Commentary
Temporary Exhibitions, Lobby
Emblem, type, symbol, token, trope, image, sign—all of these words describe specific visual forms that represent abstract ideas through recognized shapes, colors, and figures. Many emblems contain culturally specific messages, often taken from sacred or ancient texts, the meanings of which evolve over time. Since these images are quickly legible to members of a shared culture, artists mobilize emblems to provoke certain reactions in an audience. This exhibition draws together various types of emblematic prints—primarily woodcuts—that address social problems and issues.
A Space for Dialogue, founded with support from the Class of 1948, is made possible with generous endowments from the Class of 1967, Bonnie and Richard Reiss Jr., Class of 1966, and Pamela J. Joyner, Class of 1979.
Curated by Bay Lauris ByrneSim, Mellon Special Project Intern, Curatorial