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‘It Came Down to What I Could Make at My Kitchen Table’: Amy Sherald on Experimenting With a New Medium for the First Time in Decades

On October 19th, Hauser and Wirth gallery will present a series of five new paintings by artist Amy Sherald in an online exhibition titled “Womanist is to Feminist as Purple is to Lavender.” The title draws from a phrase attributed to Alice Walker and her exploration of “womanist” ideology, which accounted for the intersectional experiences of Black women left out of established feminism, in the anthology titled In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, from 1983.

In these new paintings, Sherald conducts an examination of identity analogous to Walker’s, experimenting with new materials and themes that celebrate femininity, self-awareness, and leisure through the prism of Blackness. In doing so, the artist reveals expressions of Black life that have been historically absent in Black imagery. She presents simple acts of leisure that are not luxuries of privilege or passive pursuits, but essential elements of wellness that remind us of the restorative

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