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Impressions from South Africa

In an upcoming MoMA exhibition called Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now,  nearly 100 prints, posters, books, and wall stencils will be on view—many for the first time in the United States—providing a look at how printed art can be used as a tool for social, political, and personal expression. During the years of apartheid rule in South Africa, black artists had virtually no access to formal training, a fact that tested the creative community's ingenuity to work despite this sanctioned obstacle. What came about were underground workshops, print studios, and collectives that provided outlets for generations of artists. Printmaking proved to be an effective medium to use because of its accessibility, relative inexpensiveness, and propensity for wide distribution. The included works show South Africa through the eyes artists who lived through apartheid as well as contemporary works from artists grappling with its enduring effects. Click through the slideshow for a preview of the exhibition, which opens March 23rd and runs through August 14th.

Conrad Botes (South African, born 1969). Secret Language II. 2005 Lithograph, composition: 17 11/16" x 14 15/16". Image courtesy MoMA.

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