Emma Amos: “Color Odyssey” in Philadelphia

Emma Amos: "Color Odyssey" in Philadelphia

Emma Amos: “Color Odyssey” in Philadelphia

Emma Amos — Targets — 1992

From 11 October 2021 to 17 January 2022, the Philadelphia Museum of Art presents “Color Odyssey,” an exhibition of the work of artist Emma Amos (1937–2020).

Image: Emma Amos, “Targets”, 1992. Acrylic on canvas with hand-woven fabric and African cloth borders, 145 x 186 cm. Amos family, courtesy of Ryan Lee Gallery. © Emma Amos / ARS New York.

Born in Atlanta in 1937, Emma Amos was the only female member (as well as its youngest member) of the Spiral collective, formed in the early 1960s to discuss the role of African-American artists in politics and the civil rights movement, and which included artists such as Romare Bearden and Charles Alston; she was later a member of the Guerilla Girls. “Every time I think about color, it’s a political statement,” the artist said in a 1991 interview.

Organised chronologically, Color Odyssey presents works from all stages of the artist’s career, including works painted just one year after the artist completed her studies at New York University, such as “Baby” (1965, Whitney Museum of American Art & The Studio Museum, Harlem), “Godzilla” (1966, Munson Williams Proctor Institute of Art), to more recent works such as “All I know of Wonder” (2008, Mary Ryan Collection) or “Emma India Emma” (2015, collection of the artist’s family).

“Amos’s] imaginative and sometimes satirical take on cultural difference shifted and grew richer over the decades, merging various media and blurring categories of fine and applied arts as a form of resistance,” explained Dr. Shawnya L. Harris, curator of African American and African Diaspora art at the Georgia Museum of Art. Laurel Garber, assistant curator of prints and drawings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, said that “the sweep of Amos’s career opens a window onto an artistic practice that is guided by a rich creative and political engagement in American life”. #2021 #PhiladelphiaMuseumofArt #theartwolf

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