With a career spanning almost three decades, Kerry James Marshall is well known for his paintings depicting actual and imagined events from African-American history. His complex and multilayered portrayals of youths, interiors, nudes, housing estate gardens, land- and seascapes synthesize different traditions and genres, while seeking to counter stereotypical representations of black people in society. Marshall also produces drawings in the style of comic books, sculptural installations, photography, and video. As with his paintings, these works accumulate various stylistic influences to address the historiography of black art, while at the same time drawing attention to the fact that they are not inherently partisan because their subjects are black.Read More
Marshall was born in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama. He studied at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, earning his B.F.A. in 1978 and an honorary doctorate in 1999.
In 2014, Marshall joined David Zwirner. Kerry James Marshall: Look See, an exhibition of new paintings by the artist, marked his first gallery solo show at David Zwirner in London that same year..
Currently on view through May 2016 is a large-scale mural the artist created specifically for the High Line, located at 22nd Street and 10th Avenue in New York. Titled Above the Line, the mural is based on a previous composition from his cartoon strip RHYTHM MASTR, which belongs to his Dailies series. It marks Marshall's first public commission in New York. In the spring of 2016, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago will host the first major museum survey of Marshall’s work, specially focusing on his paintings from the past thirty-five years.
Marshall has exhibited widely throughout Europe and the United States since the late 1970s and early 1980s. His work was recently the subject of a major survey entitled Kerry James Marshall: Painting and Other Stuff. Marking the most comprehensive presentation of his work to date, the exhibition was first on view in 2013 at the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen in Antwerp. In 2014, it traveled to the Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, and was co-hosted by two venues in Spain, the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.
Other prominent institutions which have presented recent solo shows include the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2013; Secession, Vienna, 2012; Vancouver Art Gallery, 2010; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2009; and the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, 2008. Previous traveling solo exhibitions include those organized by the Camden Arts Centre, London, 2005, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 2003, and The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, 1998.
Marshall is the 2016 recipient of the Rosenberger Medal given by The University of Chicago for outstanding achievement in the creative and performing arts. In 2014, Marshall was the recipient of the Wolfgang Hahn Prize, an award given annually by the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. In 2013, he was one of seven new appointees named to President Barack Obama's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Other prestigious awards include a 1997 grant from the MacArthur Foundation and a 1991 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Museum collections which hold works by the artist include the Art Institute of Chicago; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Marshall lives and works in Chicago.
Text courtesy David Zwirner.
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Mastry, Kerry James Marshall's aptly-titled retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (which has travelled from New York's Met Breuer), provides an in-depth survey of the American artist's work from the 1980s to the present day. Throughout his career, Marshall has consistently sought to correct the under-representation of...
Kerry James Marshall on Black identity, history and the process of making work. Interviewed on the occasion of Kerry James Marshall: Collected Works exhibited at Rennie Museum, June 2–November 3, 2018. VIDEO & EDIT: Milena Salazar
Rennie Museum hosted a talk by Kerry James Marshall on May 31, 2018. Maintaining an interdisciplinary approach to art-making, Marshall is perhaps best known for his prowess using classical techniques to re-integrate black figures into the history of painting. As part of the exhibition programming, Marshall took part in the Rennie Speaker Series to...
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