In Conversation: Amy Sherald, Ekow Eshun and Jenni Sorkin
In celebration of Amy Sherald’s first solo show in Europe, curator Ekow Eshun and art historian Jenni Sorkin join Sherald at Hauser & Wirth London to discuss the artist’s practice and the relevance of her work within the canon of historical portraiture. Featuring a series of small-scale and monumental portraits across both the gallery’s London spaces, this presentation is the artist’s largest to date with the gallery. Sherald is acclaimed for her paintings of Black Americans at leisure that have become landmarks in the grand tradition of social portraiture—a tradition that for too long excluded the Black men, women, families, and artists whose lives have been inextricable from public and politicised narratives.
The event marks the release of the artist’s first substantial monograph by Hauser & Wirth Publishers, providing a unique insight into her work and studio practice, alongside newly-commissioned texts.
‘Amy Sherald. The World We Make’ is on view 12 October until 23 December 2022.
Copies of the recent publication ‘Amy Sherald. The World We Make’ are available to purchase now from Hauser & Wirth Publishers.
About Amy Sherald
Born in Columbus, Georgia, and now based in the New York City area, Amy Sherald documents contemporary African American experience in the United States through arresting, otherworldly figurative paintings. Sherald engages with the history of photography and portraiture, inviting viewers to participate in a more complex debate about accepted notions of race and representation, and to situate Black heritage centrally in American art.
About Ekow Eshun
Ekow Eshun is a writer and curator. He is Chairman of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, and the former Director of the ICA, London. He is the curator of exhibitions including, most recently, the critically acclaimed ‘In the Black Fantastic’ at the Hayward Gallery, London, and author of books including ‘Africa State of Mind’ and ‘Black Gold of the Sun’, shortlisted for the Orwell prize. He has contributed to books on artists including Mark Bradford, Chris Ofili, Kehinde Wiley, John Akomfrah and Wangechi Mutu. His writing has appeared in publications including the New York Times, Financial Times and The Guardian.
About Jenni Sorkin
Jenni Sorkin is Professor of Contemporary Art History at University of California, Santa Barbara CA, and writes on the intersection between gender, material culture and contemporary art. Her book ‘Live Form: Women, Ceramics and Community’ (University of Chicago Press) examines the confluence of gender, artistic labour and the history of post-war ceramics. She has published widely as an art critic, and her writing has appeared in the New Art Examiner, Art Journal, Art Monthly, East of Borneo, NU: The Nordic Art Review, Frieze, The Journal of Modern Craft, Modern Painters and Third Text. In 2004, she received the Art Journal Award. She has written numerous in-depth catalogue essays on feminist art and material culture topics.