Amy Sherald immediately rose to international prominence when the National Portrait Gallery unveiled her portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama in February 2018 to critical acclaim. Amy Sherald, the artist’s first major solo exhibition, features a selection of portraits that exemplify her signature style: sitters with fantastical greyscale skin who are painted against a monochromatic background and gaze directly at the viewer. Through these brilliant paintings, Sherald engages in broader dialogues about the complexity and performance of identity and race and the history of art, which has largely omitted Black subjects.
Sherald, an alumna of Clark Atlanta University, took her painting classes at Spelman College and later earned an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. As the final stop of this nationally touring exhibition, Amy Sherald will be a homecoming of sorts for the Atlanta University Center. It also promises to be a triumph for residents of Atlanta, the region, and beyond.
Amy Sherald is organized by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and curated by Lisa Melandri, Executive Director. The exhibition and catalogue are presented by Jane and Bob Clark. Additional support is provided by Nancy and David Frej and Ann Ruwitch and John Foxx Arnold.