Kerry James Marshall has accomplished his mission

(K. Brent Tomer),

KERRY JAMES MARSHALL set out to change what we see in the giant canvases in art museums, not because he hated traditional art, but because he admired it. An early primary-school field trip to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) made a lasting impression. There, he discovered “some really big paintings with figures in them that looked like superheroes” by Paolo Veronese and, on a lower level, a “terrifying” Senufo figure from Mali. As he tells me by phone from his home in Chicago, “I was trying to figure out why both of those things were in the museum and both were equally powerful, but they didn’t look anything like each other. For most of my life, both those things stuck in my mind. I have never forgotten either of them.”

Mr Marshall’s 35-year career as a painter is the subject of Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, an important retrospective at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. In Mastry, we see Mr Marshall skilfully rework the styles of Courbet, Rembrandt and Seurat, but with a difference. Mr Marshall’s works boldly insert African American subject matter and figures in the historic styles. By celebrating the history,…Continue reading

via K. Brent Tomer CFTC Kerry James Marshall has accomplished his mission


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