Throughout the history of Western art, people of color are rarely seen in the paintings and collections of major museums. African American artists Amy Sherald, Kerry James Marshall and Kehinde Wiley confront this reality creating powerful images of the Black experience in history, popular culture and American life in paintings that also echo their own personal journeys as artists finding new ways to express their unique artistic visions.
Baltimore based artist Amy Sherald combines a mastery of portrait, figurative art, and sometimes magical realism in her paintings of African Americans. She would gain international acclaim for her portrait of Michelle Obama. As a child, Kerry James Marshall experienced some of America’s most violent racial history during the 1960’s church bombing in Birmingham and the riots in Watts, yet he will emerge as one of the most influential Black artists of our times. Kehinde Wiley is an African American artist based in New York who continues to challenge our ideas of art and history in his portraits of contemporary Black life that often reference the paintings of the Old Masters. His portrait of Barack Obama would dramatically re-imagine what a presidential portrait can look like. Each artist has transformed the art of the portrait and made a unique and lasting impact on modern art.
This zoom art lecture will present major works by these artists, their own stories and the stories of the people and subjects they paint. The program also includes video commentary by the artists.
Artwork (L-R): Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance), 2016, by Amy Sherald, Private Collection; Boy Scout, 1995, by Kerry James Marshall, MCA, Chicago; Dacia Carter, 2012, by Kehinde Wiley, Private Collection
Art Lecture Presenter Bob Potter is a graduate of Syracuse University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts. He spent his early career as an art and marketing director for leading media companies including Scholastic Magazines, Time Warner, and National Geographic. He helped create an innovative art therapy program for Save The Children, was a corporate development officer for the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and oversaw marketing and communications for the Mystic Seaport Museum. Most recently, he launched a professional development program for art students at the Lyme Academy and is a docent at the Yale Center For British Art. He and his wife Jeanne, who is a master watercolorist and painting teacher, live in Old Lyme, Connecticut.