Woman with Groceries

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Woman with Groceries

1942
Paintings
Gouache on paper
29 3/4 × 21 in. (75.57 × 53.34 cm)
Purchased with funds provided by The Julius Bernard Kester Trust with additional support from American Art Council, Robert Halff Endowment Fund, Modern Art Acquisition Fund, Modern and Contemporary Art Council, American Art Acquisition Fund, and American Art Deaccession Fund. (M.2019.348)
Currently on public view:
Broad Contemporary Art Museum, floor 3

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Label

Jacob Lawrence was an iconic figure in American art whose work engaged African American history and the struggle for racial equality....
Jacob Lawrence was an iconic figure in American art whose work engaged African American history and the struggle for racial equality. He was nurtured by the burgeoning cultural scene of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s. While initially appearing abstract, the forms in Woman with Groceries come into focus by looking closely: the two bags (one red-and-green striped, the other brown with jagged edges) dominate the center of the composition, and the bright yellow banana counters the woman’s vibrant orange gloves, white purse, and bright blue belt and hat. Here Lawrence imbues a scene from everyday life with a sense of epic narrative—the woman presses ahead balancing the heavy load, her oversized hands suggesting tenacity and strength.

Exhibition wall label, 2021.
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