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22 and Cheetah

© Emma Amos / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.

22 and Cheetah

Artist: Emma Amos (Born in Atlanta, Georgia, 1937–2020)
Culture: American
Date: 1983
Medium: Acrylic and hand woven African fabrics on linen
84 × 62 inches (213.4 × 157.5 cm)
Classification: Mixed Media
Credit Line: Museum purchase with funds provided by the Jolie and Matthew Johnson Fund for Acquisitions; Sotheby’s, in honor of Blake Byrne (A.B.’57); Lori Arthur Stroud (A.B.’79) and Thomas K. Stroud; Ruth (A.B.’81, P’11) and John (A.B.’81, P’11) Caccavale; Trent A. Carmichael (A.B.’88, P’17, P’19); Gail Belvett; Laurie Cone; and Michelle F. Hooper
Label Text:This mixed-media work is from a series of textile pieces by Emma Amos that includes athletes and animals. The fabric’s vivid colors and crisscrossing lines convey the sense of excitement and dynamism associated with basketball. Amos noted, “Cheetahs are with basketball players because of their speed, but we don’t give either of them enough land to run.” Her series addresses issues related to the black body, including displacement from the African continent, social and cultural hierarchies, and physical and political power.

Amos belonged to the art group Spiral, founded in New York City in 1963 by Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, and Hale Woodruff. She was the only female member of the group, which included African American artists who met to discuss the place of the black artist in the United States, as well as civil rights, social engagement, and current political issues.

Object number: 2018.17.1