Jacob Lawrence

"The Capture" Blue, Red, and Green Abstract Figurative Print AP 12/30 1987



Archival pigment print


Blue, red, brown, and green abstract figurative print by artist Jacob Lawrence. This piece depicts a central woman figure wearing a red dress and holding a golden sword while on a white horse. She is in the company of other figures by some tall, green, bushes. Signed and editioned by the artist at the bottom. Framed and matted in a thin gold frame.

Artist Biography

Jacob Lawrence was born September 7, 1917, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where his parents had migrated from the rural south. They divorced in 1924. His mother put him and his two younger siblings into foster care in Philadelphia. When he was 13, he and his siblings moved to New York City, where he reconnected with his mother in Harlem. Lawrence was introduced to art shortly after that when their mother enrolled him in after-school classes at an arts and crafts settlement house in Harlem, called Utopia Children's Center, in an effort to keep him busy. The young Lawrence often drew patterns with crayons. In the beginning, he copied the patterns of his mother's carpets. After dropping out of school at 16, Lawrence worked in a laundromat and a printing plant. He continued with art, attending classes at the Harlem Art Workshop, taught by the noted African-American artist Charles Alston. Alston urged him to attend the Harlem Community Art Center, led by the sculptor Augusta Savage. Savage secured a scholarship to the American Artists School for Lawrence and a paid position with the Works Progress Administration, established during the Great Depression by the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Lawrence continued his studies as well, working with Alston and Henry Bannarn, another Harlem Renaissance artist, in the Alston-Bannarn workshop. He also studied at Harlem Art Workshop in New York in 1937. Harlem provided crucial training for the majority of Black artists in the United States. Lawrence was one of the first artists trained in and by the African-American community in Harlem. Throughout his lengthy artistic career, Lawrence concentrated on exploring the history and struggles of African Americans. The "hard, bright, brittle" aspects of Harlem during the Great Depression inspired Lawrence as much as the colors, shapes, and patterns inside the homes of its residents. "Even in my mother's home," Lawrence told historian Paul Karlstrom, "people of my mother's generation would decorate their homes in all sorts of color... so you'd think in terms of Matisse." He used water-based media throughout his career. Lawrence started to gain some notice for his dramatic and lively portrayals of both contemporary scenes of African-American urban life as well as historical events, all of which he depicted in crisp shapes, bright, clear colors, dynamic patterns, and through revealing posture and gestures.

Dimensions With Frame

H 40.38 in x W 30.25 in x D 0.88 in

Dimensions Without Frame

H 30 in. x W 20 in.
"The Capture" Blue, Red, and Green Abstract Figurative Print AP 12/30 1987
"The Capture" Blue, Red, and Green Abstract Figurative Print AP 12/30 1987