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Studies in Desperation: Now The Act Is Consummated, 1963

Connor Everts

American, 1926-2016
Lithograph, Edition of 20, No. 4
16-7/8 x 24-1/2 in. (42.9 x 62.2 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Robin C. Park and D. Robert Park
© 2012 Connor Everts

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Created in the wake of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Connor Everts’s lithograph portfolio Studies in Desperation responds to the profound social struggles of the early 1960s. The artist was instrumental in founding the Los Angeles Printmaking Society, and he was one of the first guest artists of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop. Here his skill with the medium is evident: multilayered images of teeth, skulls, ribcage and phallus gnash and tear as they emerge and then recede through the artist’s refined use of shading. The powerful content of these images led to Everts’s arrest and eventual trial for pornography. The artist intended the work to speak about the state of the world, and more particularly, the view of the world from the womb. Years later, as he reflected on the series, the artist questioned, “What if someone looked out from the womb and decided not to be born until it was a better world?”

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