BOOK:Kerry James Marshall, Phaidon Publications

00Kerry 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. The outstanding monograph “Kerry James Marshall” by Phaidon Publications with 160 pages and 200 illustrations, explores in depth his work 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 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. Marshall said, “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….” The artist critically examines and reworks the Western canon through its most archetypal forms: the historical tableau, landscape and genre painting, and portraiture. His work also touches upon vernacular forms such as the muralist tradition and the comic book in order to address and correct, in his words, the “Vacuum in the image bank” and to make the invisible visible.-Efi Michalarou

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