I recently went to check out the Kerry James Marshall: Mastry exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York. I anxiously awaited the opening of this retrospective as I am a big fan of Kerry James Marshall. The show did not disappoint.
An interesting component to this retrospective was a the concurrent exhibition Kerry James Marshall Selects, an exhibition of about 40 works the artist selected from the MET's collection to show alongside his own work.
The MET Museum wrote a great biography for Kerry James Marshall so I wanted to share a little excerpt of that, it tells you a lot about the artist's work.
"Born before the passage of the Civil Rights Act in Birmingham, Alabama, and witness to the Watts rebellion in 1965, Marshall has long been an inspired and imaginative chronicler of the African American experience. He is known for his large-scale narrative history paintings featuring black figures—defiant assertions of blackness in a medium in which African Americans have long been invisible—and his exploration of art history covers a broad temporal swath stretching from the Renaissance to 20th-century American abstraction. Marshall 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." Link to the rest of the bio here.
This retrospective is part of the second round of exhibitions at the MET Breuer building since it opened in March of this year. This landmark building was formerly the home of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Me looking rough in front of Memento #5, (2003)
Untitled (Studio), 2014.
Bride of Frankenstein, 2009
Untitled (Club Couple), 2014
Above are a few details of the beautiful Breuer building. To the right is a detail from the ceiling of the museum lobby, and on the left is a large window on one of the gallery levels. The architect of this building was Marcel Breuer, which is why the MET refers to it as the MET Breuer.
This is such a beautiful show. If you're in New York you should definitely check it out! The show is open until Jauary 29, 2017.