Kerry James Marshall: Mastry

Kerry James Marshall
Scout (Girl), 1995
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; gift of the Susan and Lewis Manilow Collection of Chicago Artists
© 1995 Kerry James Marshall
Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Kerry James Marshall
Silence is Golden, 1986
Acrylic on panel, 49 × 48 × 2 in.
The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of the artist 1987.8
Photo: Marc Bernier

There is no doubt that Kerry James Marshall, a 1985–86 Studio Museum artist in residence, has made a name for himself in the contemporary art world as an inspired and imaginative chronicler of the African-American experience via his paintings, drawings, sculptural installations and photography. This season, the largest museum retrospective of his works to date will be the cornerstone of the season at the Met Breuer.

Mastry is a survey of almost eighty of Marshall’s works made over the last thirty-five years, in which he explores conceptions of blackness, and critiques western art history and its exclusion of people of color in canonical painting forms such as historical tableau, landscape and portraiture.

"Marshall’s work illustrates the American experience as unimaginable without black history and culture,” says the exhibition’s curator Ian Alteveer. “The result is a stunning body of work that is both intimate and monumental." Mastry will definitely be remembered as an artistic tour de force!

In addition to Mastry, Marshall and Alteveer will co-curate a concurrent exhibition at The Met Breuer, Kerry James Marshall Selects. The artist handpicked forty works from The Met collection to underscore the global and historical nature of his influences. The works, which range from the Northern Renaissance and French post-Impressionism to African masks and American photography of the 1950s and 60s, are symbols of the grand traditions he has worked to reinvent.

Mastry opens at the Met Breuer on October 25, 2016 and is on display through January 29, 2017. The last chance to view this exhibition will be at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles from March 12 to July 2, 2017.