Amy Pleasant

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Amy Pleasant
Amy Pleasant.jpg
Born 1972 (1972)
Birmingham, Alabama
Nationality  United States
Education The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Tyler School of Art
Known for Painting, Drawing, Wall Drawing
Awards Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant (2015)

Amy Pleasant (born 1972) is an American painter living and working in Birmingham, AL with representation by the Jeff Bailey Gallery (New York, NY)[1] and Whitespace Gallery (Atlanta, GA).[2] She received a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University.

Pleasant is best known for her figurative, free associative paintings and drawings that explore simple, daily acts in slowly unfolding narratives. In an article from Art in America, Max Henry wrote that her work “chronicles everyday life…full of existential angst and loneliness, her paintings are able to evoke an empathetic response from the viewer.”[3] David Moos wrote of Pleasant’s work that through “fragments of overlapping narratives” the viewer is allowed to “glimpse the formation of images” and is “made aware of how the painter makes decisions in paint, amending a passage and visibly editing the composite image.”[4] Martha Schwendener, art critic for the New York Times and critic of photography at the Yale School of Art, reviewed Pleasant's work in the contemporary art periodical Artforum, stating that Pleasant's paintings are “laid out in grids which collectively hint at angst-ridden narratives” which are stylistically reminiscent of “early Sue Williams paintings—the vitriolic feminist ones—or comics whose narrative core has disintegrated, leaving behind only the shame, fear, or desire that instigated them in the first place.”[5]

In addition to the Jeff Bailey Gallery,[1] Pleasant has held solo exhibitions at the Birmingham Museum of Art,[6] The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (Atlanta, GA), the Tandem Gallery (Birmingham, AL), Rhodes College, The Ruby Green Center for Contemporary Art (Nashville, TN), and the University of Alabama, Birmingham.

Pleasant has participated in group exhibitions at venues such as the Knoxville Museum of Art (Knoxville, TN), the Weatherspoon Art Museum (Greensboro, NC), Columbus Museum of Art (Columbus, GA), the Wiregrass Museum of Art (Dothan, AL), the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Washington, DC), the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (Winston-Salem, NC), the Art Museum of the University of Memphis (Memphis, TN), the Mobile Museum of Art (Mobile, AL), the United States Embassy in Prague, Czech Republic, and the Huntsville Museum of Art (Huntsville, AL).

The recipient of an Individual Artist Grant from the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham and the Alabama State Council on the Arts,[7] her work can be found in the collections of the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Knoxville Museum of Art,[8] the Columbus Museum of Art, the Wiregrass Museum of Art, the Progressive Corporation, and the U.S. Consulate General in Dubai,[9] as well as in many private collections.

Pleasant was commissioned by the American ambient/post-rock band Hammock to create the album art for its 2013 release, Oblivion Hymns.[10] In December 2015, Pleasant was announced as one of only 25 recipients of the 2015 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant, which acknowledges painters and sculptors creating work of exceptional quality through unrestricted career support.[11]


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