Monday, November 12, 2012

untitled (painters)

Kerry James Marshall  "untitled (painter)"  2010

Kerry James Marshall is a contemporary figurative painter currently based in Chicago. He attended the Otis Art Institute. Marshall was born in Alabama in 1955 but grew up in the Watts section of Los Angeles, CA, where he observed the development of both the Black Power and the Civil Rights movements first-hand. This consciousness deeply influenced the young artist. Much of Marshall's work confronts racial stereotypes within American culture. His figures are all extremely dark, actually the color black, in order to make manifest the distinction of inner and outer appearances. Marshall received a Macarthur Foundation grant in 1997. He exhibts with Jack Shainman Gallery in NYC and with Koplin Del Rio in Culver City, CA.

In the past few years Marshall has returned repeatedly to the theme of painters at work. I have been unable to discover if the women depicted are actual portraits of artists Marshall knows, or are representational of Art or the art-making process itself and/or have some other symbolic meaning. Several of these pieces were included in Marshall's "Black Romantic" exhibit at Jack Shainman Gallery in 2008. You can see a video of the artist discussing some aspects of his work here.

Kerry James Marshall  "untitled (painter)"  2009

Kerry James Marshall  "untitled (painter)"  2008
Kerry James Marshall  "untitled (painter)"  2008


Marianne said...

I'm so glad you've posted these paintings by KJM. He is masterful, one of the greats around today.

Nancy Bea Miller said...

I agree, and am surprised by the fact that he is NOT more of a "household name"!