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Kerry James Marshall

American, b. 1955

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Kerry James Marshall

American, b. 1955

13,512
Followers
Biography

Kerry James Marshall challenges the marginalization of African-Americans through his formally rigorous paintings, drawings, videos, and installations, whose central protagonists are always, in his words, “unequivocally, emphatically black.” As he describes, his work is rooted in his life experience: “You can’t be born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1955 and grow up in South Central [Los Angeles] near the Black Panthers headquarters, and not feel like you’ve got some kind of social responsibility. You can’t move to Watts in 1963 and not speak about it.” Marshall’s erudite knowledge of art history and black folk art structures his compositions; he mines black culture and stereotypes for his unflinching subject matter. In Black Star (2011), a nude black woman bursts through a Frank Stella-like canvas, commanding attention and daring viewers to consider how she has been (and how she should be) seen and portrayed.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Met Breuer, and 6 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 6 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 5 more
Biography

Kerry James Marshall challenges the marginalization of African-Americans through his formally rigorous paintings, drawings, videos, and installations, whose central protagonists are always, in his words, “unequivocally, emphatically black.” As he describes, his work is rooted in his life experience: “You can’t be born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1955 and grow up in South Central [Los Angeles] near the Black Panthers headquarters, and not feel like you’ve got some kind of social responsibility. You can’t move to Watts in 1963 and not speak about it.” Marshall’s erudite knowledge of art history and black folk art structures his compositions; he mines black culture and stereotypes for his unflinching subject matter. In Black Star (2011), a nude black woman bursts through a Frank Stella-like canvas, commanding attention and daring viewers to consider how she has been (and how she should be) seen and portrayed.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Met Breuer, and 6 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 6 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 5 more
Shows Featuring Kerry James Marshall
Articles Featuring Kerry James Marshall
How Arthur Lewis Built a Dynamic Collection of Black Art
Mar 16th, 2020
How Arthur Lewis Built a Dynamic Collection of Black Art
8 Collectors and Curators Share the Art on Their Holiday Wish Lists
Nov 26th, 2019
8 Collectors and Curators Share the Art on Their Holiday Wish Lists
Abstract Expressionist Titans Drive Sales at Sotheby’s Contemporary Auction
Nov 15th, 2019
Abstract Expressionist Titans Drive Sales at Sotheby’s Contemporary Auction
What Sold at Frieze London
Oct 7th, 2019
What Sold at Frieze London
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