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Color(ed) Theory: Ultrasheen

A work made of inkjet print on 100% rag photo paper.

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  • A work made of inkjet print on 100% rag photo paper.




Amanda Williams
American, born 1974

About this artwork

For her series Color(ed) Theory, Amanda Williams repainted and photographed eight vacated and condemned houses in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, drawing attention to the issue of underinvestment in African American communities around the city. The artist painted the buildings in a palette of colors found in products and services marketed primarily toward Black people that she felt represented Black consumer culture: Harold’s Chicken Shack, Newport 100s, Crown Royal Bag, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Ultrasheen, Pink Oil Moisturizer, Currency Exchange, and Safe Passage.

Williams painted the houses with the help of family, friends, and other members of the community; their activity invited passersby to reflect on the complexities of race, place, and value in cities. The bright colors transformed buildings scheduled for demolition, which viewers might otherwise ignore, into sculptural objects. The series raises questions about the racial, social, and political forces shaping the city and their relationship to color: What color is poverty? What color is gentrification? It also highlights the racist history of urban strategies, including policies like redlining that have blocked Black Americans’ equal access to real estate and “white flight” out of cities and into suburbs.


Currently Off View


Architecture and Design


Amanda Williams (Architect)


Color(ed) Theory: Ultrasheen

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 2016


Inkjet print on 100% rag photo paper


56 × 81 cm (22 × 32 in.)

Credit Line

Funds provided by the Architecture & Design Society

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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