KERRY JAMES MARSHALL (b. 1955)
Kerry James Marshall holds an important place in American Art. A Chicago resident, Marshall spent much of his early life in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, where he experienced the Black Power and Civil Rights movements firsthand. These influences are evident in his large, stylized works- that reflect the African American experience. Marshall earned his B.F.A from the prestigious Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, where he perfected his signature style of balancing themes that ranged from the Civil Rights Movement to the contemporary life of the African American male.
Eventually, Marshall’s art evolved into hybrid of the “Harlem Renaissance Style” and his own unique voice and incorporation a new black aesthetic. Marshall painted his acclaimed Garden Project in reaction to the false promises made by the public housing projects on the late 20th Century, the art speaks directly to Marshall’s world and experience. Another important series that shared the artist’s experience was his 1998 Souvenir Series, in which the artist pays honor to the recent deaths of leaders, politicians, artists and musicians. A truly Dynamic painter, Marshall lives and works today evolving his imagery and craft as he ensconces himself as one of the most important artists working in America today.
In 2018, the Kerry James Marshall painting Past Times, 1997 sold for $21.1 Million, a testament to the power, resonance and immediacy of the work. Steven Nelson, the Director of Africa Studies at the University of California said, “His deep exploration of black identity and visibility, especially at a moment when black people are under assault for getting coffee, golfing, napping, barbecuing and shopping, is relevant. His work takes its cues from the history of western painting and expands how we can conceive of figurative painting.”
Museum Collections Include:
The Art Institute of Chicago
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
The Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Los Angeles Museum of Art
Corcoran Gallery of Art
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Nelson- Atkins Museum of Art, Missouri
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Harvard University Art Museums
Walker Art Center, Minnesota