Lisa Farrington’s book will be the first scholarly monograph on contemporary African-American artist Emma Amos, the sole woman member of the Civil Rights art group Spiral, founded by Romare Bearden. Amos’s large-scale fabric paintings, innovative new media prints, and textile design address issues of race and gender while revealing a dazzling breadth of media experimentation. Farrington’s book will engage psychoanalytic, historical, biographical, feminist, and sociopolitical approaches, expressed in readily comprehensible language. Now in her 70s, Amos continues to paint, although she recently retired from her position as chair of fine arts at the Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts. Farrington would like to complete the manuscript during the artist’s lifetime, while she can benefit from a raised profile and from fostered appreciation of her life’s work.
Lisa Farrington is chair of the art department at John Jay College and is a curator, author, and art historian specializing in Haitian, African-American, and women’s art. She has published widely, including Common Goals, Common Struggles: Women of the Harlem Renaissance (University of Mississippi, forthcoming), Creating Their Own Image: the History of African-American Women Artists (Oxford University, 2005), and two monographs on artist Faith Ringgold. She has been the senior art historian at Parsons School of Design, taught at Parsons Atelier in Paris, and as a consultant for the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) art history program. Farrington received a PhD and masters degree from the CUNY Graduate Center, an MA from American University, and a BFA (magna cum laude) from Howard University.