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Untitled (Composition for a Peace Poster)

A work made of linocut in black on two sheets of cream wove paper.
© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City

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  • A work made of linocut in black on two sheets of cream wove paper.


c. 1950


Alberto Beltrán (Mexican, 1923-2002)
Elizabeth Catlett (American, active in Mexico, 1915-2012)

About this artwork

Elizabeth Catlett and Alberto Beltrán were two of the most adept artists to join the Taller de Gráfica Popular in the post–World War II period, and this large, two-sheet print embodies the collaborative work that continued to be so central to the workshop’s practice, as well as the antiwar causes to which the Taller was particularly devoted during the 1950s. Catlett designed the image, and Beltrán executed the grandly scaled linocut, which was used for a poster advertising the Primer Congreso Nacional por la Paz (First National Peace Congress), held in Mexico City in May 1951. The giant protective hand—whose dramatic, surreal contrast in scale is unusual in Catlett’s work—symbolizes the resistance of the Mexican people to war and shields a group of workers and peasants, most prominently a mother and child, whose powerful pose also suggests both a protective and defiant attitude.

Elizabeth Catlett y Alberto Beltrán fueron dos de los más diestros artistas en unirse al Taller de Gráfica Popular durante el periodo de la posguerra. Este grabado de gran formato en dos hojas es muestra del trabajo colaborativo que siguió siendo fundamental para la actividad del taller, así como de su compromiso con la causa antiarmamentista, a la cual el Taller estuvo particularmente dedicado en la década del 1950. Catlett diseñó la imagen y Beltrán realizó el linograbado magistral que fue utilizado para un cartel anunciando el Primer Congreso Nacional por la Paz (México, D.F., mayo de 1951). La enorme mano protectora —cuyo dramático y surreal contraste en escala no es común en el trabajo de Catlett— simboliza la oposición del pueblo mexicano a la guerra y aparece escudando a un grupo de obreros y campesinos, más notablemente a una madre con su hijo, cuya poderosa postura sugiere tanto una actitud de protección como de desafio.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Alberto Beltrán , Elizabeth Catlett


Untitled (Composition for a Peace Poster), Sin título (composición para un cartel por la paz)


Mexico (Artist's nationality:), United States (Artist's nationality:)




Linocut in black on two sheets of cream wove paper


Inscribed lower sheet, upper left, in graphite: "ALBERTO BELTRAN"; lower left in graphite, upside down: "2 parts / Beltran"


Top sheet, image: 64.7 × 89 cm (25 1/2 × 35 1/16 in.); Top sheet, sheet: 70 × 94.8 cm (27 9/16 × 37 3/8 in.); Lower sheet, image: 63.5 × 89.5 cm (25 × 35 1/4 in.); Lower sheet, sheet: 70 × 95 cm (27 9/16 × 37 7/16 in.)

Credit Line

Prints and Drawings Purchase Fund

Reference Number



© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City

Extended information about this artwork

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