MC
MCA Chicago
Chicago

Steven and Deborah Lebowitz

Medium
Image rights
Photo: Matthew Fried, © MCA Chicago

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.

Blue-chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Selected exhibitions
2018
Figuring History: Robert Colescott, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene ThomasSeattle Art Museum
2016
Kerry James Marshall: MastryMCA Chicago
2013
Kerry James Marshall: DOLLAR FOR DOLLARJack Shainman Gallery
View all

A Portrait of the Artist as a Shadow of His Former Self, 1980

Egg tempera on paper
8 × 6 1/2 in
20.3 × 16.5 cm
Location
Chicago
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MC
MCA Chicago
Chicago

Steven and Deborah Lebowitz

Medium
Image rights
Photo: Matthew Fried, © MCA Chicago

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.

Blue-chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by major museums
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)

Series by this artist

Other works from Kerry James Marshall: Mastry
Other works by Kerry James Marshall
Related works
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