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Prints, 21st Century

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Pressed Iron Blossom No. 1

21st Century
24 x 36 in. (61 x 91.4 cm)

Willie Cole, American, b. 1955

Object Type: PRINTS
Creation Place: North America
Medium and Support: Lithograph
Credit Line: Purchased with funds provided by the Art Angels
Accession Number: 06-G-3323
Cole is a New York-based artist known for his mixed media sculptures, prints, and installations. Originally from Newark, NJ, he earned a B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1976, and continued his studies at the Art Students League of New York from 1976 to 1979.

Cole has been altering perceptions of household objects since the 1990s. He ingeniously transforms steam irons, ironing boards, hairdryers, and high-heeled shoes into powerful sculptures, installations, and works on paper. Mining his own African American heritage, Cole creates work that celebrates African culture and confronts viewers with the painful history of slavery in America.

In Pressed Iron Blossom No. 1, Cole portrays a beautiful blossoming flower with petals of various shades of black and gray. The artist created the patterned design by pressing steam irons onto the surface of the print matrix. For Cole, steam irons evoke references not only to household goods, but also to African masks, and to the slave ships of the Middle Passage.

-Dominique Adams, Class of 2017
Curatorial Intern
Current Location: In Storage


- Approaching Abstraction: African American Art from the Permanent Collection, Curated by Dr. Klare Scarborough, La Salle University Art Museum, March 15 - June 15, 2017.


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