Exhibition: Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.: Citizen Printer

Start date: 29 June 2024
End date: 31 January 2025
Time: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Location: In-person at Letterform Archive, San Francisco, USA
Third-party event

The major solo exhibition features over 150 type-driven artifacts from the self-described “humble negro printer”.

Through the use of bold language, graphic typography, and colorful layers, Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr.’s prints embody an intensity that catches the eye and provokes the mind. He is extremely outspoken about the impact of white supremacy and racism. These themes are reflected in Kennedy’s work and encompass the evolving trajectory of Black liberation in the United States. From growing up in the 1960s during the Civil Rights Era, to the rise of Black Nationalism in the 1970s, to the present Post-Civil Rights era, Kennedy has seen how these movements shaped Black identity in the United States and has drawn from this as inspiration.

Curated by designer and author Kelly Walters, Letterform Archive’s exhibition includes a wide variety of printed artifacts such as broadsides, maps, church fans, handbills and oversized posters produced throughout Kennedy’s career. Along with his’s signature prints, the show features a few lesser-known artist’s books that showcase Kennedy’s early start with letterpress printing and bookbinding. Together, these works demonstrate the rich cultural traditions of Black printing and the importance of Black authorship.

The exhibition shows how various methods of letterpress printing can be used as forms of activism. Guests will learn how Kennedy builds his practice through the production of personal work, commercial printing, and community-based projects.