October 18, 2021

Josh MacPhee
Graphic Liberation

Colgate University

Josh MacPhee, Graphic Liberation, 2021.

Josh MacPhee, Lexicon of International Political Graphics, 2021.

In Graphic Liberation, Josh MacPhee, the Christian A. Johnson Foundation Artist-In-Residence, continues to explore the terrain of political image making, expanding on his ongoing conversations series of the same name at Colgate University. Through a range of projects that invite the gallery audience to participate in various forms of printing, Graphic Liberation enlists the viewer to become producer, and engage in and with, the visual language of international social movements developed and evolved across the globe for over 200 years. In this world of signs and symbols organized toward liberation, pink triangles become powerful symbols of AIDS activism, red wedges defeat white supremacy, and houses raise their fists against rent increases. By focusing on the ways images are reproduced, repurposed, and distributed, MacPhee turns our focus to iteration and copying as an engine of human progress, rather than our culture's (and capitalism’s) fetish of the new and authorial individuality.

Josh MacPhee is a designer, artist, and archivist. He is a founding member of both the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and Interference Archive, a public collection of cultural materials produced by social movements based in Brooklyn, NY. MacPhee is the author and editor of numerous publications, including Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now and Signal: A Journal of International Political Graphics and Culture. He has organized the Celebrate People's History poster series since 1998 and has been designing book covers for many publishers for the past decade ( His most recent book is An Encyclopedia of Political Record Labels (Common Notions, 2019), a compendium of information about political music and radical cultural production.

Presented by the Art and Art History Department and The Christian A. Johnson Foundation. The Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Artist-in-Residence was established in 1986 as a challenge grant in support of the arts at Colgate. The residency program permits one or more artists or scholars in each of the areas of fine arts, music, and theater to become part of the Colgate community every academic year.

Graphic Liberation conversations
Exploring the role of culture in social movements and the history and evolutionary usage of political graphics.

Josh MacPhee with Daniel Drennon ElAwar: September 29, 4:30–6pm
Josh MacPhee with Tomie Arai: November 3, 4:30–6pm

Clifford Gallery hours: Monday–Friday 10:30am–4:30pm, Saturday–Sunday 1–5pm

Please note: Weekend hours are dependent on the availability of student monitors.If driving a distance, please contact the department (T 315 228 7633) during regular working hours, to ensure the gallery will be open. The gallery is not open during university breaks and holidays.

Colgate University
Founded in 1819, Colgate University is a highly selective, residential, liberal arts college enrolling nearly 2,750 undergraduates. Situated on a rolling 515-acre campus in central New York State, Colgate University attracts motivated students with diverse backgrounds, interests and talents. For more information, visit here.

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