Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Past Exhibitions

< >

Freeing the Figure

Nov 5 2009 – Jul 3 2011

Seattle Art Museum

Freeing the Figure explores the purely formal attributes of Jacob Lawrence’s influential work, rather than the social and historical themes for which he is so well known. Lawrence’s free and non-anatomical approach to the human figure is shown in context with the work of his predecessors and peers who also used the figure as "fodder" for dynamic painterly compositions, revealing how the human figure has been a laboratory for artistic experimentation for decades. Lawrence’s work is examined alongside pieces by international artists such as Max Beckmann, Jose Clemente Orozco and Kathe Kollwitz; national figures including Philip Guston and Robert Colescott; and Northwest colleagues such as Michael Spafford and Fay Jones.

–Michael Darling, Former Jon & Mary Shirley Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art

Educational Resources
To explore this exhibition a little deeper, download our bibliography.

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

Learn more about Equity at SAM