Kerry James Marshall uses painting, sculptural installations, collage, video, and photography to comment on the history of black identity both in the United States and in Western art. He is well known for paintings that focus on black subjects historically excluded from the artistic canon, and has explored issues of race and history through imagery ranging from abstraction to comics. Marshall said in a 2012 interview with Art + Auction that “it is possible to transcend what is perceived to be the limitations of a race-conscious kind of work. It is a limitation only if you accept someone else’s foreclosure from the outside. If you plumb the depths yourself, you can exercise a good deal of creative flexibility. You are limited only by your ability to imagine possibilities.”
Marshall was born in Alabama in 1955, and grew up in Watts, Los Angeles. He is a 1978 graduate of the Otis College of Art and Design and currently lives and works in Chicago. In his PBS Art21 special, Marshall says, “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. That determined a lot of where my work was going to go…”
Kerry James Marshall: In the Tower is currently on view at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, through December 7, 2013. Upcoming solo exhibitions include Kerry James Marshall: Painting and Other Stuff at the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Belgium, traveling to the Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark; Antoni Tapies Foundation, Barcelona and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid.
Marshall has work in numerous public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Birmingham Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He is the recipient of several awards, grants and fellowships including the MacArthur genius grant in 1997.
Jack Shainman Gallery has represented Kerry James Marshall since 1993. Solo exhibitions in the gallery include Dollar for Dollar (2013), Black Romantic (2008), Drawings (2004), Kerry James Marshall (1999), The Garden Project (1995) and Kerry James Marshall (1993).
Kerry James Marshall – Painting and Other Stuff is co-organised by M HKA in Antwerp, Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. It is a long-overdue survey of Marshall’s work in mainland-Europe, and the most substantial presentations in his career to date.
A catalogue entitled Painting and Other Stuff is being produced to accompany the exhibition. It will be published in November 2013, including contributions from Okwui Enwezor, Nav Haq, Kerry James Marshall and Dieter Roelstraete. It is co-published by Ludion, Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.
After M HKA, Painting and Other Stuff will travel to Copenhagen (27.02–04.05.2014), Barcelona (10.06–26.10.2014) and Madrid (12.06–26.10.2014).
The exhibition is realised with the support of:
The Embassy of the United States of America
Kerry James Marshall Exhibition Circle: JoAnn & Ronald Busuttil; R.H. Defares; The Deighton Collection; Koplin Del Rio Gallery; Larry and Marilyn Fields; Susan & Lew Manilow; Rodney Miller;Michel Moortgat; Rennie Collection; Jack Shainman Gallery; and Vanmoerkerke Collection.
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