Marshall, Kerry James

Marshall, Kerry James, 1955–, American painter, b. Birmingham, Ala., B.F.A. Otis Art Institute (now Otis College of Art and Design), Los Angeles, 1978. A figurative and narrative artist whose subjects are African-American life, culture, and history, Marshall often paints at mural scale, using mainly acrylics on unstretched canvas, sometimes adding collage. Lettered banners and signs frequently appear in his work. People, painted in several subtly different blacks, their features picked out in white or shades of gray, interact in brightly colored, highly patterned scenes, often urban landscapes or interiors with hints of folk-art or comic-book imagery. He has also created sculpture, collages, prints, photographs, and installations; his works are in many major collections. Marshall, who has lived in Chicago since 1897, taught at the Univ. of Illinois there from the early 1990s to 2006, and was awarded a MacArthur Foundation genius grant in 1997.

See catalog by I. Alteveer et al. (2016); studies by T. Sultan and A. Jafa (2000), O. Enwezor et al. (2014), R. Storr and A. Choon (2015), and C. Gaines et al. (2017).

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