Emma Amos was a progressive painter and experimental print maker. The youngest and only female member of the Spiral group founded by Romare Bearden and other African American artist (1963-1965). Amos was born in Atlanta but spent her professional life in New York City. From the beginning she explored and challenged race, class, and gender norms both in her work and career. The artist created works that referenced color-field painting, employed photo transfer techniques, and were often trimmed in African fabrics. She worked in figuration and figure abstraction using her own experiences to reference universal ideas and themes in her narrative.
The artist stated that her goal for her paintings was to "dislodge, question, and tweak prejudices, rules, and notions relating to art and who makes it, posses for it and buys it. They reflect notions of desire, the dark body versus the white body, racism, and my wish to provoke more thoughtful ways of thinking and seeing."
A retrospective exhibition of Amos' is forthcoming in 2021 at the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia in Athens.
From the Artist:
This print - Miss Otis was done as a part of a series of works on paper that feature the problems of incarcerated women. The subject is important to many groups, since when women are jailed they are at the mercy of guards and are often raped or cuffed for the sexual favor. Also women in prison have babies in jail or leave children motherless on the outside. This is a worldwide problem that Miss Otis just touches on. She inhabits a character, a lovely song which describes her shooting her lover dead and then being hanged by a mob. I wanted her to be beautiful, thoughtful, and very painfully sad.
Emma Amos was born in Atlanta. She earned a BA from Antioch College, OH; a diploma from the Central School of Art and Design, London; and an MFA from New York University. Amos taught at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers Un...Read More ⟶