Written by Helen Molesworth and Ian Alteveer and Abigail Winograd and Dieter Roelstraete
The definitive monograph on contemporary African American painter Kerry James Marshall, accompanying a major traveling retrospective. This long-awaited volume celebrates the work of Kerry James Marshall, one of America’s greatest living painters. Born before the passage of the Civil Rights Act, in Birmingham, Alabama, and witness to the Watts riots in 1965, Marshall has long been an inspired and imaginative chronicler of the African American experience. Best known for large-scale interiors, landscapes, and portraits featuring powerful black figures, Marshall explores narratives of African American history from slave ships to the present and draws upon his deep knowledge of art history from the Renaissance to twentieth-century abstraction, as well as other sources such as the comic book and the muralist tradition. With luscious color and brushstrokes and highly detailed patterning, his direct and intimate scenes of black middle-class life conjure a wide range of emotions, resulting in powerful paintings that confront the position of African Americans throughout American history. Richly illustrated, this monumental book features essays by noted curators as well as the artist, and more than 100 paintings from throughout the artist’s career arranged thematically by subject: history painting; beauty, as expressed through the nude, portraiture, and self-portraiture; landscape; religion; and the politics of black nationalism.