Warrington Colescott Biography

Warrington Colescott




Warrington Colescott was born in Oakland, California in 1921. His parents, Warrington, Sr. and Lydia Colescott, were New Orleans Creoles who moved to Oakland in 1920. Colescott’s studies at the University of California, Berkeley were interrupted when he was drafted to serve in the U. S. military during the Second World War. Upon his discharge from the army, he returned to the University of California where he earned his M.A. in 1947.

His teaching career began the same year when he accepted the position of instructor at the Long Beach City College in Long Beach, California. Colescott made his first print, a serigraph, while at Long Beach and he taught there for two years before moving to Wisconsin in 1949. That year he began his long teaching career at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He was named Associate Professor in 1955 and Professor in 1958.

In 1953, Colescott attended l’Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris. A few years later he received a Fulbright Fellowship in 1957 that allowed him a year of study the Slade School of Art in London. While there he worked under the instruction of Anthony Gross and was taught the spectrum of intaglio processes. Colescott received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1965, a National Endowment for the Art Printmaking Fellowship in 1975, and National Endowment for the Arts Artist Fellowships in 1979 and 1983.

His early graphics were abstractions created in the medium of serigraphy. By the early 1960s he turned his focus on intaglio printmaking and his imagery evolved into social satire and commentary. He has produced a number of narrative satires, including one on the history of printmaking.

Warrington Colescott has an extensive exhibition history and his work is included in numerous public collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum,Tate Gallery of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Modern Art New York, BibliothÄ—que nationale de France, Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Museum, Madison Art Center, Chazen Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Portland Art Museum, Carnegie-Mellon Museum, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum, and the Cincinnati Art Museum.

Warrington Colescott died in Madison, Wisconsin on September 10, 2018.