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About Emma Amos

Emma Amos

Atlanta, Georgia  United States

 1938

Ms. Amos was commissioned by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games to create an original painting from which official Olympic Posters and a limited edition print were created.

Emma Amos, Atlanta- born painter, printmaker, weaver and writer, has lived in New York since 1960. In the 60’s, Amos was the only woman and the youngest member of Spiral, the group of black artists which included Romare Bearden, Normal Lewis and Hale Woodruff. 


From her early work as a member of the black artist collective Spiral, to recent prints and canvases that deconstruct popular icons (from Picasso to ‘Lil Kim), Emma Amos challenges audiences to consider how ideas about race, sex and identity are constructed and disseminated through images.  Her works expose the ways in which images of blackness and non-western cultural forms have been historically appropriated by white artists.  At the same time, they challenge popular expectations and institutional barriers that serve to censor contemporary artists of color, particularly black women artists. 


Amos transgresses numerous boundaries in works that insist upon her subjectivity and freedom of expression as an artist.  She incorporates a wide range of materials in her work, from photographs and embroidery, to swatches of her own weaving and borders made of colorful kente cloth and batik fabric.  These elements punctuate Amos’s richly painted canvases and reflect her interest in combining high art and craft-based practices.  Most recently, she has developed a technique for silk screening images onto large velvet panels.


The artist’s work is in many national and international collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Wadsworth Atheneum in Connecticut, the Newark and New Jersey State Museum in New Jersey, the Studio Museum in Harlem and Atlanta’s Spelman College collection.

Artwork by Emma Amos