Kerry James Marshall
And Wistful Romantic Idylls
Exhibition Dates: September 6- October 24, 2008
Reception for the Artist: Saturday, September 6, 6-8PM
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 10:00 am - 5:30 pm; Saturday: 11:00 am - 5:30 pm
Koplin Del Rio is pleased to announce its sixth solo exhibition of new paintings and drawings by
Kerry James Marshall.
Marshall describes the new work: "This continues my over-arching project of representing aspects of Black Culture rarely made visible in contemporary picture making. Secondarily, I am also interested in foregrounding the black figure in popular genres of painting not usually associated with the socio-political frame in which much African American art is seen through. For example, in the big coffee table book survey, The Great American Pin Up, published by Taschen, not one of the sexy, dream girls is Black. Likewise, what are the chances of encountering a portrait (imaginary) of John Punch; Angry Black Man in any of the major museums of Los Angeles”. (An important and forgotten figure, John Punch was the first person in American history to be condemned by a State Court to a life sentence of slavery in 1646. John Punch; Portrait of An Angry Black Man is among the new paintings to be featured in the exhibition.) Marshall continues, "Vignettes, are very sweet images of Black couples in vast landscapes, based in part on the stylistic character of 18th century Rococo painting. After completing a dozen or so of the vignette romances in grisailles, the works in this exhibition are now in full color."
Kerry James Marshall was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1955. His family relocated to Los Angeles where Marshall grew up first in South Central and later Watts. His formative years are reflected in the socially charged narratives found throughout Marshall’s artwork. At the core of Marshall’s visual vocabulary is the truth of African American life as he sees it. An avid reader with an insatiable curiosity for information, the themes of Marshall’s work are informed by volumes of magazines, newspapers, books, and films on African-American history, art, literature, mythology, folklore and comics. Western art history also plays prominently in his compositions; with references to artists from Mossaccio to Matisse to Jacob Lawrence.
Now living in Chicago, Marshall has exhibited his works in many important group exhibitions, including the 2007 and 1997 editions of Documenta, the 2003 Venice Biennale, the 1999/2000 Carnegie International, and the 1997 Whitney Biennial. His solo exhibitions include shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Baltic, Newcastle on Tyne, UK; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Studio Museum of Harlem, New York; and the Wexner Center, Columbus, Ohio. Among the many honors he has received are a MacArthur Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship, and a Wexner Center Residency Award. Most recently he was awarded a Skowhegan Medal for Painting. Marshall’s work is represented in major private and museum collections throughout the world including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
For further information or photos, please contact Kimberly Clark at