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.
Recipient of the 2006 Wisconsin Visual Artist Lifetime Achievement Award Warrington Colescott Professor Emeritus Printmaking, Painting 1949-1986
"Over the years painting and drawing have been my search engines, etching my modem (and my delight). With my focus on reality, I watch nervously as reality morphs into fantasy. It always does; it always has. I retreat to my studio, put a bucket of pitch on the fire, and set the timer."
1957 Slade School of Art, University College, University of London (Fulbright Fellow)
1953 Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris, France
1947 MA University of California at Berkeley
1942 BA University of California at Berkeley
Other Teaching Positions
Tyler School of Art, Rome
University of California at Berkeley
Richard Koopman Distinguished Chair in the Visual Arts, Hartford School of Arts
Significant Career Achievements
2010 The Prints of Warrington Colescott – A Catalogue Raisonne 1948–2008, Mary Weaver Chapin, University of Wisconsin Press with the Milwaukee Art Museum
2010 Out of Line: The Satiric Prints of Warrington Colescott, The Milwaukee Art Museum solo exhibition
2010 The Wisconsin Triennial of Contemporary Art, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art group exhibition and catalogue, Madison, Wisc.
2010 Suite Louisiana: Color Intaglio Prints by Warrington Colescott, New Orleans Museum of Art solo exhibition and catalogue, New Orleans, La.
2009 184th Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Art, National Academy Museum group exhibition and catalogue, New York, N.Y., Dessie Grant Greer Prize and Orocelle Lance Award for Suite Louisiana: Storyville, The Last Salon
2009 The Boston Printmakers North American Print Biennial, Boston University group exhibition and catalogue, Juror’s (Roberta Wadell) Purchase Prize for Imperium: Down in the Green Zone, color etching 2003 Suite Louisiana: Warrington Colescott, New Orleans Museum of Art (solo)
2001 The Stamp of Impulse: Abstract Expressionist Prints, Worcester Art Museum, (Worcester, MA). Travels to Cleveland Museum of Art; Amon Carter Museum (Fort Worth, TX); Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University group)
1999 Co-author with Arthur O. Hove, Progressive Printmakers: Wisconsin Artists and the Print Renaissance (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press)
1998 Etched in Acid - Warrington Colescott, one-hour PBS production of Milwaukee Public Television
1997 International Print Trienniel, Krakow, Poland. Major award (group) 1996 Warrington Colescott, Milwaukee Art Museum (solo)
1991 Printmaker Emeritus, Southern Graphics Council
1988 Warrington Colescott, Forty Years of Printmaking, Elvehjem Museum of Art, Madison, WI (solo)
1975 National Endowment in the Arts grants, printmaker
1975; artist 1979, 1983, 1993 1967 Guggenheim Fellowship to London