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American Girl

Emma Amos, American, 1937 - 2020. Printed by Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, New York, 1948 - 2001. Published by Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, New York, 1948 - 2001

Emma Amos made daring experiments in her printmaking practice in order meet the complexities she felt were entailed in depicting the Black female figure. In this print, she combined etching and aquatint to depict a reclining female figure who peers outward from rich, dark passages of printerly tone and texture toward the viewer. Her face appears to give off its own light, and the dense halo of her hair—traced by a thick white line—pushes into the print’s upper half. This jagged white seam, which runs like a fault around the figure, was produced by a remarkable and rarely seen method: Amos first rendered this composition on a single copper printing plate and then physically cut the metal in two. She then reconnected the two halves and ran them through the printing press together, producing a composite image on single paper sheet.

Amos employed this innovative technique at the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, which became an important site for collaborative and experimental printmaking in New York in the mid-1960s.


Object Details

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