After Obama portrait, Amy Sherald seeks to ‘reclaim time’ for African-Americans

Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald built an reputation in the art world for painting highly stylized portraits of what you might call ordinary people. But she became a household name in wider circles earlier this year for her portrait of a rather extraordinary subject: the first African-American First Lady of the United States. 


An exhibition of Sherald’s work is now at Contemporary Art Museum, where it remains on view through Aug. 19.

When the official portraits of both Michelle Obama and former President Barack Obama were unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. in February, contemporary art took a brief but perhaps meaningful turn in the national media spotlight. The portraits, each painted by African-American artists and each bearing an unconventional aesthetic,…

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