Kerry James Marshall Analysis

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The numerous collected work of Kerry James Marshall at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago exhibits paintings that focus on black subjects historically excluded from the artistic standard. Marshall’s imagery ranges from representational comic to abstraction and using pure black for the people and not anywhere else on his paintings. Born in 1955 as a black man, Marshall felt a social responsibility to speak about how life was and feels a lot of his determination is where he works is going to go. Depicting black subjects in everyday life, showing that people are all the same no matter what race they come from. Marshall paintings remind me of the Social Realist political movement during the 1920’s and 1930’s and the American Regionalism (American Scene Paintings). This was a time of global economic depression and the artist found that art can be a weapon that could fight exploitation. Very much like Marshall’s paintings the belief (which is very true) that blacks are critical members of society. Marshall focuses on the human figure and the human condition, confronting the status quo and social structure by depicting everyday life through a modern style of collage, comic, and abstraction. Many…show more content…
Marshall works reestablish this historical absence, a black artist is shown with the series “What does an Artist Look Like?”. These paintings are painters (men and women) painting or painting a “Paint by Numbers” painting themselves back in history where they belong changing the status quo of white figures always placed. Marshall’s Painting Portrait of Nat Turner with the Head of his Master resembles the Renaissance and Baroque depictions of the heroic biblical decapitation (the head of Holofernes). Marshall’s Past times versus Georges-Pierre Seurat paintings Sunday afternoon and Bathers at Asnieres helps establish the image of blacks in areas like museums and everywhere
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