'Emma Amos: Color Odyssey' Traveling Exhibition and Catalogue Debut This Winter

  • ATHENS, Georgia
  • /
  • December 06, 2020

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Emma Amos, “Seated Figure and Nude,” 1966. Oil on canvas, 56 × 50 inches. Emanuel Family Collection.
Emma Amos, “Tightrope,” 1994. Acrylic on canvas with African fabric borders, 82 × 58 inches. Minneapolis Institute of Art; Gift of funds from Mary and Bob Mersky and the Ted and Dr. Roberta Mann Foundation Endowment Fund.

The new book “Emma Amos: Color Odyssey” accompanies the exhibition of the same name, on view at the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia from January 30 through April 25, 2021, before traveling to the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute from June 19 to September 12, 2021, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art from October 9, 2021, to January 2, 2022.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Emma Amos (1937 – 2020) was a distinguished painter and printmaker. She is best known for her bold and colorful mixed-media paintings that create visual tapestries in which she examines the intersection of race, class, gender and privilege in both the art world and society at large. This survey exhibition will include approximately 60 works from the beginnings of her career to the end of it, reflecting her experiences as a painter, printmaker, and weaver. Her large-scale canvases often incorporate African fabrics and semiautobiographical content, which are drawn from her personal odyssey as an artist, her interest in icons in art and world history and her sometimes tenuous engagement with these themes as a woman of color.

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Amos’ work challenges the norms of Western art tradition with her unique narrative painting style characterized by an expressive use of color, which animates her compositions and pushes the visual boundaries of desire and difference. She also combined lithography, intaglio, collage and laser transfer methods learned independently or through the workshops of important figures such as Robert Blackburn and Kathy Caraccio to make prints and monotypes. The exhibition will serve as a study of the complex themes of identity politics and difference shaping Amos’ body of work. It will examine works dating from her formative years in the 1960s to her participation in the feminist and multicultural debates of the late 20th and early 21st century.

Emma Amos, “Equals,” 1992. Acrylic on linen canvas with African fabric borders, 76 × 82 inches. Private collection.

The exhibition catalogue, published by the Georgia Museum of Art, includes essays by Shawnya Harris, Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator of African American and African Diasporic Art at the Georgia Museum of Art, the curator of the exhibition and the editor of the catalogue; Lisa Farrington of Howard University; artist LaToya Ruby Frazier; Laurel Garber, Park Family Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art; artist Kay Walkingstick; and Phoebe Wolfskill, associate professor in the departments of American studies and African American and African Diaspora studies at Indiana University. 192 pages; $40 (hardcover) ISBN: 978-0915977-46-8

Publishing date for the catalogue is mid-January, 2021. For catalogue orders, contact the Museum Shop


Tags: american art

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