The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. awards the second Pollock Prize for Creativity to Amy Sherald.

NEW YORK, NY, April 16, 2018— Kerrie Buitrago, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, today announced that Amy Sherald is the recipient of the second Pollock Prize for Creativity, honoring an outstanding artist whose work embodies high creative standards and exemplifies the impact of art on individuals and society. The Pollock Prize carries a cash award of $50,000.

Sherald hails from Baltimore. Her portraiture is a compelling commentary on race and heritage; the work is subtle in its innuendo, yet the subject’s gaze is always very direct, creating a dynamic tension on the canvas. Sherald is the first African American to receive first prize in 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition from the National Gallery, where her portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama was unveiled earlier this year.

The Pollock Prize is an extension of the existing Lee Krasner Award, given to an older artist in recognition of a lifetime of achievement. The Pollock Prize, by contrast, will lend support to outstanding artists who may be in mid-career, and whose ongoing work has a social and cultural dimension. The Prize will be awarded to an artist working in one of the disciplines the Pollock-Krasner Foundation supports—painting, sculpture, works on paper and printmaking, or photography. As with the Lee Krasner Award, there is no application for the Pollock Prize, which is given by a Foundation jury based on the recommendations of a network of nominators.

Amy Sherald said, “I am honored to receive this year’s Pollock Prize for Creativity. Jackson Pollock’s radical disruption of the two-dimensional picture plane to energize abstract forms has resonated greatly in my own journey to examine and elaborate art historical conventions. My paintings seek to reshape critical and cultural dialogues around representations of black experiences in portraiture and other modes of visual imagination. Depicting black people engaged and present in contemporary, everyday life, I partake in the slow and intensive tradition of American realist painting. I am profoundly grateful to the Pollock-Krasner Foundation for supporting this work and for providing me with the resources to continue sharing American stories otherwise removed from the dominant, canonical narratives.”

Kerrie Buitrago noted, “It is exciting to encounter an artist like Amy Sherald who is able to convey in a beautiful and meaningful way the important historical narrative of black heritage. The Pollock-Krasner Foundation is delighted to be able to make this award and to recognize Amy Sherald’s groundbreaking achievement in conceptual portraiture.”

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. was established in 1985 through the generosity of the late Lee Krasner, one of the leading abstraction expressionist painters and the widow of Jackson Pollock. Based in New York but operating internationally, the Foundation through its grants has enabled artists to create new work, purchase needed materials and pay for studio rent, as well as meet their personal and medical expenses. Recipients of Pollock-Krasner grants have acknowledged their critical impact in allowing concentrated time to work in the studio and prepare for exhibitions and other professional opportunities such as residencies. The Foundation has awarded more than 4,400 grants to date in 77 countries, for a total of more than $71 million.

To provide additional support, the Foundation maintains an up to date and comprehensive Grantee Image Collection representing the work of artists who have received grants since inception. Each artist is requested to give the Foundation permission to post two images of works from the year of his or her grant and also has the option of adding to this number with later works. The database also provides contact information for each artist.

For more information, including guidelines for grant applications, the public may visit the Foundation’s website at

Kerrie Buitrago
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / (212) 517-5400

Image credit: Amy Sherald, They Call Me Redbone But I’d Rather Be Strawberry Shortcake, oil on canvas, 54 x 43 inches.