Warrington Colescott

Year inducted: 2006

Warrington Colescott was an important figure, as teacher and artist, in the post World War II flowering of printmaking at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. He was one of the innovators in advancing technique and imagery in print culture that made Madison one of this country’s creative hotspots. His etchings continue to be recognized internationally for the satiric bite of his narrative subject matter which often comments on the state of the world as seen through his eyes. Narration is at the core of his art. The source of its journalistic aspect goes back to a childhood fascination with comic strips and to his college student involvement in political and sports cartoons. Humor is the lubricant that smoothes the way for barbs aimed at humanity’s foibles and institutions’ cruelties. The pompous edifice of high culture, politics and current fashion threatens to totter and fall when Colescott puts his etching needle to the copper plate to render his quirky and beguiling images. He taught printmaking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1949 to 1986; he is the Leo Steppat Chair Professor of Art Emeritus, a Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy and an Academician of the National Academy of Design. His prints are held in most major public collections including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The Milwaukee Art Museum honored Colescott with a retrospective exhibition of his prints and paintings in 2005.

Works by Warrington Colescott