LaToya M. Hobbs and the Art of Citation

By Nora M. Rosengarten
June 10, 2024
Index Magazine

LaToya M. Hobbs and the Art of Citation

A black and white print portrays a female artist sitting in her studio, surrounded by her paintings, prints, and tools.
LaToya M. Hobbs, American, Scene 5: The Studio, from Carving Out Time, 2020–21. Woodcut on cotton paper. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Margaret Fisher Fund, 2022.224.5. © LaToya M. Hobbs. Photo: Ariston Jacks; courtesy of the artist.

In the monumental woodcut series Carving Out Time (2020–21), on view in the exhibition LaToya M. Hobbs: It’s Time, Hobbs pays tribute to several Black American artists, through a citation of their works.

Across the five scenes of the series depicting a day in the life of Hobbs and her family, you’ll see evocative re-renderings of iconic works by Black artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs, Elizabeth Catlett, Kerry James Marshall, Valerie Maynard, and Alma Thomas. Though not every artwork cited is a print, all these artists have undertaken significant works of art on paper. Hobbs weaves these artworks—and by extension, their makers—into the fabric of her family’s life, drawing together genealogies of artistic influence, printmaking, and Black art histories as foundations for both Hobbs’s practice and the intimate space of the family home. 

Homages such as these are a storied tradition in the visual arts, a code of communication that connects one maker with another across time, geography, and media. Though not unique to print, citation holds a particular resonance in printmaking—a technique long associated with reproduction, multiplication, copying, and collaborative modes of production. Printmakers who copied another artist’s work would sometimes make their appropriation conspicuous by inverting the image in the final print; the copying artist would convey their fellow printmaker’s final print onto the matrix directly, so that when that matrix was printed, the resulting impression was a mirror reversal from the original. This practice of reversal and copying lives on in Hobbs’s series. While the matrices for Carving Out Time—which Hobbs exhibits as artworks in their own right—show the citations according to their original orientation, the prints of those matrices of each artwork are reoriented so they appear in reverse. By centering the act of copying and making the printing process visible, Hobbs calls on this tradition in her own citations.

Inspired by Hobbs’s artistic citations, the bibliography shared below records major publications and foundational scholarship related to each cited artist—with particular focus on the artists’ works in print. Citation, Hobbs makes clear, is a political, ethical, and cultural practice. It makes visible the labors of those whose attention, care, and generosity can be returned by commitment to furthering the efforts they began. 

For a library of Black women printmakers, see the website Black Women of Print.

LaToya M. Hobbs: It’s Time is on view at the Harvard Art Museums from March 1 to July 21, 2024.

For questions, ideas, and other inquiries regarding the citations below, please contact

Jean-Michel Basquiat
(Brooklyn 1960–1988 New York) 

Olivier Berggruen, “The Prints of Jean-Michel Basquiat,” Print Quarterly 26 (1) (March 2009): 28–38. 

Bernard Blistène, Elena Ochoa, Robert Farris Thompson, and Richard D. Marshall, Jean-Michel Basquiat: Works on Paper/Oeuvres sur papier (Paris: Galerie Enrico Navarra, 1999). 

bell hooks, “Altars of Sacrifice: Re-Membering Basquiat,” Art in America 81 (6) (June 1993): 68–75, 117–19. 

Rene Ricard, “The Radiant Child,” Artforum 20 (4) (1981): 43. 

Jordana Moore Saggese, Reading Basquiat: Exploring Ambivalence in American Art (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014). 

———, ed. The Jean-Michel Basquiat Reader: Writings, Interviews, and Critical Responses (Oakland: University of California Press, 2021). 

Lenore Schorr, Richard D. Marshall, Jean-Louis Prat, et al.; Géraldine Pfeffer-Lévy, Jean-Michel Basquiat [catalogue raisonné], 2 vols., 3rd edition (Paris: Galerie Enrico Navarra, 2000). 

Franklin Sirmans, “In the Cipher: Basquiat and Hip-Hop Culture,” in Basquiat, ed. Marc Mayer, 91–105 (New York: Brooklyn Museum, 2005).


Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs
(Los Angeles 1915–2010 Chicago) 

“The Builder: Margaret Burroughs Helped Build Chicago,” Chicago Tribune, November 22, 2010,

Margaret T.G. Burroughs, Life with Margaret: The Autobiography of Dr. Margaret Burroughs (In Time Pub & Media Group, 2003). 

Margaret T.G. Burroughs, interviewed by Julieanna L. Richardson, The HistoryMakers, June 12, 2000, The HistoryMakers African American Video Oral History Collection, A2000.012 (Session 1, Tapes 1–5). 

Mary Ann Cain, South Side Venus: The Legacy of Margaret Burroughs (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 2018).

Eugene Pieter Romayn Feldman, The Birth and Building of the DuSable Museum (Chicago: DuSable Museum Press, 1981). 

John E. Fleming and Margaret T.G. Burroughs, “Dr. Margaret T. Burroughs: Artist, Teacher, Administrator, Writer, Political Activist, and Museum Founder,” The Public Historian 21 (1) (Winter 1999), 31–55. 

Darlene Clark Hine and John McCluskey, Jr., eds., The Black Chicago Renaissance (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2012). 

Ian Rocksborough-Smith, “Margaret T.G. Burroughs and Black Public History in Cold War Chicago,” The Black Scholar 41 (3) (Fall 2011), UMass Conference: Black Art & Power in Movement, 26–42.


Elizabeth Catlett
(Washington, D.C. 1915–2012 Cuernavaca, Mexico) 

Anita Bateman, “Narrative and Seriality in Elizabeth Catlett’s Prints,” Journal of Black Studies 47 (3) (2016): 258–72. 

Robert Berlind and Elizabeth Catlett, “Elizabeth Catlett,Art Journal 53 (1) (1994): 28–30. 

Elizabeth Catlett, interviewed by Shawn Wilson, The HistoryMakers, July 26–27, 2005, The HistoryMakers African American Video Oral History Collection, A2005.170 (Session 1, Tapes 1-6). 

Melanie Anne Herzog, Elizabeth Catlett: An American Artist in Mexico (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2000). 

Kellie Jones, “The Imagery of Women in the Art of Elizabeth Catlett and Eldzier Cortor,” in Artist and Influence, Vol. 6 (New York: Hatch Billops Collection, 1988), 51–54. 

Samella S. Lewis, The Art of Elizabeth Catlett (Claremont, Calif.: Hancraft Studios, 1984). 

Richard A. Powell, “Face to Face: Elizabeth Catlett’s Graphic Work,” in Elizabeth Catlett: Works on Paper, 1944–1992, ed. Jeanne Zeidler, 49–53 (Hampton, Va.: Hampton University Museum, 1993). 

Dalila Scruggs, “Activism in Exile: Elizabeth Catlett’s Mask for Whites,” American Art 32 (3) (Fall 2018): 2–21.


Kerry James Marshall
(b. Birmingham, Ala. 1955)

Arthur Jafa, Kerry James Marshall, and Terrie Sultan, Kerry James Marshall (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2000). 

Kerry James Marshall, interviewed by Julieanna L. Richardson, The HistoryMakers, January 4, 2001, The HistoryMakers African American Video Oral History Collection, A2001.046 (Session 1, Tapes 1–7). 

Kerry James Marshall, Teju Cole, and Hal Foster, Kerry James Marshall: History of Painting (New York: David Zwirner Books, 2019). 

Kerry James Marshall, Elizabeth A.T. Smith, and Tricia Van Eck, Kerry James Marshall: One True Thing, Meditations on Black Aesthetics (Chicago: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2003). 

Kobena Mercer, “Kerry James Marshall: The Painter of Afro-Modern Life,” Afterall: A Journal of Art, Context and Enquiry 24 (Summer 2010): 80–88. 

Helen Molesworth, ed., Kerry James Marshall: Mastry (Chicago: Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2016). 

Charles H. Rowell and Kerry James Marshall, “Kerry James Marshall: American Artist,” Callaloo 21 (1) (1998): 253–62. 

Terrie Sultan, Kerry James Marshall: Telling Stories: Selected Paintings (Cleveland: Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art; Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, 1994). 

Susan Tallman, Kerry James Marshall: The Complete Prints 1976–2022 (Brussels: Ludion, 2023). 

John Yau, “Kerry James Marshall’s Sense of History,” in Please Wait by the Coatroom: Reconsidering Race and Identity in American Art (Boston: Black Sparrow Press, 2023). 


Valerie Maynard
(New York 1937–2022 Baltimore) 

Cynthia Anthony, “Valerie Maynard,” The International Review of African American Art 9 (2) (Winter 1990): 58. 

Opal K.C. Baker, “Speaking in Tongues: The Folk Voices of Painter Valerie Maynard,” The Crisis 106 (2) (March 1999): 30–32. 

Lisa E. Farrington, “Postmodern Pluralism,” in Creating Their Own Image: The History of African-American Women Artists (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 270–71. 

Asma Naeem and Leslie Cozzi, eds. Valerie Maynard: Lost and Found (Baltimore: Baltimore Museum of Art, 2020). 

Evette Porter, “Valerie Maynard: Like a Prayer,” Essence Magazine 21 (1) (May 1990): 84. 

Mildred Thompson, “Valerie Maynard,” ART PAPERS 14 (4) (July/August 1990): 6–7. 

A.M. Weaver, “Valerie Maynard,” in The St. James Guide to Black Artists (Detroit: St. James Press, 1997), 354–55. 


Alma Woodsey Thomas
(Columbus, Ga. 1891–1978, Washington, D.C.)

Afro-American Art: 20th Century Selections (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art, 1985). 

Tritobia Hayes Benjamin, Jonathan P. Binstock, Ann Gibson, Jacob Kainen, Judith Wilson, and Sachi Yanari, Alma Thomas: A Retrospective of the Paintings (San Francisco: Pomegranate, 1998). 

Ian Berry and Lauren Haynes, eds. Alma Thomas (New York: DelMonico Books/Prestel, 2016). 

———, Two Centuries of Black American Art (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1976). 

Seth Feman and Jonathan Frederick Walz, eds., Alma W. Thomas: Everything is Beautiful (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2021). 

Merry A. Foresta, A Life in Art: Alma Thomas, 1891–1978 (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art, 1981).

Lauren Haynes, “Alma Thomas’s Washington,” in Beauty Born of Struggle: The Art of Black Washington, ed. Jeffrey C. Stewart, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, Studies in the History of Art 83, from the 2017 symposium The African American Art World in Twentieth-Century Washington, D.C. (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2023).

Kellie Jones, Frank Bowling, Lowery Stokes Sims, et al., Energy/Experimentation: Black Artists and Abstraction, 1964–1980 (New York: The Studio Museum in Harlem, 2006).

Regenia A. Perry, Free Within Ourselves: African-American Artists in the Collection of the National Museum of American Art (San Francisco: Pomegranate, 1992).


Nora M. Rosengarten is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University and a former graduate student intern in the Division of European and American Art at the Harvard Art Museums.