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NTL | Annual Leadership Series with Amy Sherald

November 7, 2019 | 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Image: Amy Sherald by Jordan Geiger

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ArtTable’s Annual Leadership Series returns this year with Amy Sherald, Artist, and Ashley James, Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum. 

ArtTable’s Annual Leadership series presents a public forum featuring a distinguished roster of artists, change-makers and leaders in our field to discuss relevant and emerging issues for those working in arts and culture. This year we turn our attention to the politics of portraiture and representation, thinking deeply about the ways a portrait can convey power and subvert truths and using as a starting point Sherald’s transformation of the everyday into the monumental in her most recent series at Hauser & Wirth .

“‘Artists of color are using portraiture to author a narrative of people that art history was written without. It speaks to the human condition and holds up a mirror to life.’”- Amy Sherald in conversation with Marc Payot, Partner and Vice President of Hauser and Wirth for her upcoming exhibition Amy Sherald the Heart of the Matter…

Celebrated for her presidential portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama, Sherald positions her subjects firmly within our understanding of American Art, reimagining the style of traditional portraiture to construct layered identities through colorful compositions.

About Amy Sherald
Born in 1973 in Columbus, GA, Amy Sherald documents contemporary African-American experience in the United States through arresting, otherworldly portraits. Sherald subverts the medium of portraiture to tease out unexpected narratives, inviting viewers to engage in a more complex debate about accepted notions of race and representation, and to situate black heritage centrally in the story of American art.

Sherald received her MFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art (2004) and BA in Painting from Clark-Atlanta University (1997). She was the first woman and first African-American ever to receive first prize in the 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.; in February 2018, the museum unveiled her portrait of former First Lady Michelle Obama. Sherald has also received the 2018 David C. Driskell Prize from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta GA, the 2018 Pollock Prize for Creativity, and the 2017 Anonymous Was A Woman grant. Her solo exhibition “heart of the matter..” opened at Hauser & Wirth NYC in September 2019. Alongside her painterly practice, Sherald has worked for almost two decades along-side socially committed creative initiatives, including teaching art in prisons and art projects with teenagers.

Public collections include Embassy of the United States, Dakar, Senegal; National Museum of Women in the Arts; Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery; The Columbus Museum; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art; Baltimore Museum of Art; and Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, NC.

About Ashley James

At the Brooklyn Museum, Ashley James organized the Brooklyn Museum presentation of “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power”; and “Eric N. Mack: Lemme walk across the room”; and is co-curating the forthcoming “John Edmonds: A Sidelong Glance.” Prior to Brooklyn she worked in the Department of Drawings and Prints at the Museum of Modern Art, where she contributed to the 2018 Charles White retrospective and the 2018 Adrian Piper retrospective. James is a Ph.D. candidate in the Departments of African American Studies; English Literature; and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University, from which she holds Master’s degrees in those fields. At Yale she co-curated the 2014 University Art Gallery exhibition “Odd Volumes: Book Art from the Allan Chasanoff Collection.” James writes broadly on modern and contemporary visual and literary arts practices, and her dissertation reorients the contemporary discourse of black representation by way of experimental art making practices of the late 1960s/early 1970s.

Thank you to Hauser & Wirth for their support. 

ArtTable is a 501.c.3 organization. All programs are non-refundable.



November 7, 2019
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
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ArtTable National


The Manny Cantor Center
197 E Broadway
New York, NY 10002 United States
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ArtTable is a 501.c.3 organization and all programs are non-refundable. Should a program be postponed by ArtTable for any reason, the purchaser’s ticket will be honored for the rescheduled program. Should a program be canceled and not rescheduled, the purchaser will receive credit to be used toward a future program. Please email with any questions.

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