Laband Art Gallery

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, CA



Solidarity Forever! Graphics of the International Labor Movement


"Solidarity Forever! Graphics of the International Labor Movement" will be on display at Loyola Marymount University's Laband Art Gallery from Oct. 18 to Nov. 18, 2000. The free exhibition is the most recent in a series from Los Angeles' Center for the Study of Political Graphics and is drawn from their collection of more than 40,000 political posters and broadsides. (left: Rockwell Kent, Save This Right Hand, c. 1950, San FRancisco, offset Lithography, 39 x 28 cm)

Solidarity Forever! mainly focuses on posters from the last 50 years, covering diverse urban and rural struggles, from farm workers and miners, to janitors and teachers. It will also feature select posters from the early 20th century, including the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), labor posters of the 1930s and labor's role during World War II. The exhibition concludes with international May Day posters, powerful expressions that strive for solidarity among the world's working peoples. According to curator Wells, who is also the executive director of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, "organized labor in the United States has consistently produced more political graphics than any other domestic movement for social change. Most labor posters were produced in the midst of a strike or boycott and convey the urgency of the times." (right: Carlos Cortez, Remembering Joe Hill, 1979, Chicago, linoleum cut, 101 x 67 cm)

Also included in Solidarity Forever! are commemorative posters marking the anniversary of a labor victory or a martyred labor leader such as IWW activist Joe Hill, who was executed by a firing squad in 1915. Adds Wells, "these graphics are meant to remind the viewer of forgotten, lesser known or even hidden periods in American history, and warn of injustices that still occur." (left: Common Threads Artist Group, Guess Who Pockets the Difference?, 1995, Los Angeles, offset lithography, 28 x 71 cm)

Although many of the posters are historical, a number of the issues in them remain current. "In the global economy, the eight-hour days are vanishing," says Wells. "Children are shouldering adult jobs. Pesticides threaten farm workers and consumers. Sweatshops are reappearing internationally and right here in Los Angeles..." (left: Sylvain, L. A. Should Work...for Everyone, 1989, Los Angeles, offset lithography, 56 x 37.5 cm)

Read more about the Laband Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University in Resource Library Magazine.

Please click on thumbnail images bordered by a red line to see enlargements.

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 4/4/11

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