Recent Acquisition

Hung Liu, Black Madonna

Hung Liu, (Changchun, China, b. 1948), Black Madonna, 2016, color lithograph. Museum purchase with funds from the Friends of the Trout Gallery, 2017.18

Hung Liu was raised under the Maoist regime and trained as an artist in the Socialist Realist style. She studied mural painting at the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, before immigrating to the US in1984 to attend the University of California, San Diego, where she studied under Allan Kaprow. Known for imagery based on historical photographs, Hung Liu’s subjects over the years have been prostitutes,refugees, street performers, soldiers, laborers, and prisoners. Through her work, Hung Liu challenges the documentary authority of photography by subjecting them to the more reflective process of painting and drawing. Recently, Liu has focused on American subjects, specifically the families of the Dustbowl era, where she finds a landscape of overarching struggle and underlying humanity not unlike what she witnessed in Maoist China. For Black Madonna, Hung Liu turned to Dorothea Lange’s iconic Farm Security Administration photographs.

This print was one of several acquired in 2017 as part of The Trout Gallery’s student-selected print acquisitions initiative (2015). This initiative provides student representatives from the museum’s advisory committee with funds to purchase works at New York City’s annual print and photograph fairs. Selections advance the college’s mission to shape engaged lives of citizenship and leadership in the service of society by addressing significant political and social issues worldwide. Funding for this initiative is provided by membership to the Friends of The Trout Gallery.