Diptych of color monotype, stencil and color pastels with collage and metallic ink on thick buff wove paper, 1984. Rives BFK watermark. 762x591xmm; 30x23 1/4 inches (sheet), left panel; 762x33 mm; 30x21 inches (sheet), right panel. Signed in green pastel, lower right, right panel, and dated and titled in white pastel, lower edge, left panel.
Provenance: acquired directly from the artist; private collection, New York.
This striking mixed media diptych by Emma Amos celebrates Harlem Renaissance icon Josephine Baker and her ostrich. In 1926, Baker famously rode through Berlin in an ostrich-pulled cart - an image which was captured in a photograph taken in front of the Hotel Adlon. Emma Amos used representations of the iconic Josephine Baker in her 1980s to break further boundaries in the representation of beauty and African-American women. In a related painting Josephine and the Mountain Gorillas, 1985, Amos imagined Josephine Baker literally walking through an Abstract-Expressionist color field painting followed by two gorillas. Amos sought to further deconstruct traditional representations by embracing experimental techniques as a painter, printmaker and weaver. Her paintings have recently been acquired by the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum, and were included in the traveling museum exhibitions We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women 1965-1985 and Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power.