jacob lawrence paintings
Back in New York, Lawrence continued to paint. He grew depressed, however, and in 1949, he checked himself into Hillside Hospital in Queens, where he stayed for 11 months. He painted as an inpatient. The works he created in hospital differed from his usual artworks because they displayed sadness and agony.  Shortly after leaving Hillside, Lawrence turned to theater.
In October 1943 (during the Second World War), Lawrence was drafted in the United States Coast Guard and served as a public affairs specialist with the first racially integrated crew on the USCGC Sea Cloud, under Carlton Skinner.  He continued to paint and sketch while in the Coast Guard, documenting the experience of war around the world. He produced 48 paintings during this time, all of which have been lost. He achieved the rank of petty officer third class. After the war, he created his famous War Series. 
Lawrence painted Two Rebels amid the riots and marches related to desegregation in the American South, marking the image as one of his more directly politicized artistic responses to racial unrest. In May of 1963, demonstrations against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama turned violent, and Lawrence captured the mood in a surreal, exaggerated composition.
Lawrence constructed Sedation to question whether it was mental illness or its treatment which imprisoned the afflicted. The blue, yellow, and red pills are arranged on a white towel within what appears to be a vitrine. The patients gaze at the pills without being able to access them, their looks of despair a testament to the medicalized relief they can only contemplate but not reach. Alternatively, Lawrence’s decision to place the pills within an enclosure suggests future imprisonment. Should the patients open the door to sedation treatment, relief may be found but at the expense of freedom, locking them into the cycle of needing sedation and medical management to cope with their illnesses.
Introduction Jacob Lawrence (September 7, 1917 – June 9, 2000) was an American painter known for his portrayal of African-American life. As well as a painter, storyteller, and interpreter, he was an educator. Lawrence referred to his style as “dynamic cubism”, though by his own account the primary influence was not so much French art as the shapes and colors of Harlem. He brought the African-American experience to life using blacks and browns juxtaposed with vivid colors. He also taught and spent 16 years as a professor at the University of Washington.Lawrence is among the best-known 20th-century African-American painters. He was 23 years old when he gained national recognition with his 60-panel Migration Series, painted on cardboard. The series depicted the Great Migration of African Americans from the rural South to the urban North. A part of this series was featured in a 1941 issue of Fortune. The collection is now held by two museums: the odd-numbered paintings are on exhibit in the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and the even-numbered are on display at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Lawrence’s works are in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, MoMA, the Whitney Museum, the Phillips Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Northwest Art. He is widely known for his modernist illustrations of everyday life as well as epic narratives of African-American history and historical figures. Wikidata Q355566
Introduction Jacob Lawrence was the first African-American painter whose work was displayed in the collection of MOMA in New York. His bright, colorful, genre painters became associated with the Harlem Renaissance of the 1930s and 1940s. Lawrence got his start as an artist by taking classes at the Utopia Neighborhood House, 135th Street Library, and the Harlem Workshop in New York City. He was then supported by the Federal Arts Project through the WPA during the Depression. Outside of his career as an artist, Lawrence taught classes at the Art Students League, Bradeis University, Black Mountain College, the Skohegan School, and the University of California. He also served as a professor and coordinator at the Pratt Institute in New York city. Nationalities American, African American Gender Male Roles Artist, Painter Names Jacob Lawrence, Jacob Armstead Lawrence, Jacob A. Lawrence Ulan 500027690
Lawrence is among the best-known 20th-century African-American painters. He was 25 years old when he gained national recognition with his 60-panel Migration Series, painted on cardboard. The series depicted the Great Migration of African-Americans from the rural South to the urban North. A part of this series was featured in a 1941 issue of Fortune. The collection is now held by two museums: the odd-numbered paintings are on exhibit in the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and the even-numbered are on display at MOMA in New York. Lawrence’s works are in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Phillips Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and Reynolda House Museum of American Art. He is widely known for his modernist illustrations of everyday life as well as epic narratives of African American history and historical figures.
On July 24, 1941, Lawrence married the painter Gwendolyn Knight, also a student of Savage. She supported his work and even helped him with captions for many of his series of paintings. They were married until his death in 2000.
Lawrence’s most famous narrative series, his 60-panel The Migration of the Negro, perfected his signature combination of historical storytelling and abstracted style. In Panel 22, Lawrence used an interplay between linear design and unmodulated color planes to suggest the indignities of Black imprisonment in the pre-Migration-era American South. The incarcerated men are depicted as large, imposing figures, with their heads hanging down, and their broad backs and shoulders extending almost the width of the panel. Despite their size, their immobility suggests their disempowerment in the face of a racist law enforcement and judicial system. Trapped behind bars, with golden handcuffs linking them one to the next, they appear like chattel. The men’s slumped shoulders and the dramatic color contrast between the darkness of the men’s clothes and grim prison interior, and the bright blue sky beyond the prison confines suggest the men’s longing for the freedom they cannot access. Yet, in Panel 22, Lawrence implies that even if the men reached the northern United States and the world of blue sky beyond the prison, ultimately, the men couldn’t outrun the root cause of their imprisonment. The echo between the pinstripes on the far-right man’s pants and the vertical bars over the jail cell window suggest that as long as racism dictates penal strategy, the men will remain targets for persecution.
Working with a palette of browns, bright red, yellow-orange, black, white, and blue, Lawrence created his figures as non-naturalistic color blocks, their limbs elongated, their torsos concealed beneath blocky clothing, and their facial features simplified to eyes and mere outlines of a nose and mouth. These compositional decisions eliminate extraneous background details that would take away from the poignant emotions of the narrative. Art historian Elizabeth Hutton Turner has said of Lawrence’s works in series that they were conceived as “image and word” together, with the works’ “poetry” emerging from the “repetition of certain shapes” linking one panel to the next. In Frederick Douglass, the woven basket, made by slaves, acts as a reminder of slave labor, the work of the Black American journey to freedom, and the continual presence of an oppressive past even in a seemingly safer present. The red flower symbolizes hope, and its appearance in Frederick Douglass panels suggests the promise of a better life, even in the most dire of circumstances.