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Exhibition Art in Action: Herblock and Fellow Artists Respond to Their Times

Eric Avery (b. 1965). As It Is from Damn It! suite, 1986 or 1987. Color lithograph with woodcut overprint. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. © Eric Avery, used by permission (023.00.00)

Public Health Crisis

Artist Eric Avery responded to the HIV/AIDS pandemic as both printmaker and practicing physician/psychiatrist. He commented:

Cutting wood and linoleum, hand-rubbed printing, beating paper pulp from my work shirts, pressing paper with my hydraulic press—all of these physical acts move trauma from the brain out through the body. Printmaking is good medicine if you've got a lot of distress and emotional pain.

As It Is references the composition of Max Beckmann’s 1915 drypoint print, The Morgue.