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Kerry James Marshall Art

American, b. 1955

In his multifaceted work, Kerry James Marshall strives to address “the lack in the image bank” by elevating Black figures who have been excluded from Western art. Using a variety of black pigments, the artist heightens the skin tones of his subjects to honor their identities rather than ignore them. Best known for his large-scale paintings, Marshall also works in collage, photography, video and other media.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Marshall later grew up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, where his family relocated in 1963. As he studied art, including at the Otis Art Institute (now Otis College of Art and Design) in Los Angeles, he was struck by the absence of Black bodies in art history and museums. At the age of 25, he painted A Portrait of the Artist as a Shadow of His Former Self (1980). Its central figure, whose features almost merge with the background in their varying shades of black, references Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, the protagonist of which cannot be seen as a human being by other members of society because he is Black. For Marshall, A Portrait marked the start of an ongoing examination of the simultaneous visibility and invisibility of Black Americans.

Marshall’s practice has continued to concentrate on confronting stereotypes in the Black experience by celebrating joy and commemorating moments of Black history. His paintings frequently engage with the white-dominated traditions of the art historical canon by borrowing elements of style ranging from the Renaissance to the abstract movements of the 20th century. While he has said that he is driven by a sense of social responsibility for what he witnessed growing up in the South before the Civil Rights Act and in Los Angeles during the Watts riots of 1965, Marshall doesn’t focus on trauma in his works’ narrative scenes. Instead, they regularly depict people involved in everyday activities yet portrayed with the monumentality of a tableau painting.

Now based in Chicago, Marshall is recognized as one of the country’s leading contemporary painters, with a 2016 retrospective, "Mastry," touring the MCA Chicago, MOCA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2018, his painting Marshall’s Past Times (1997) sold for $21.1 million, the highest ever auction price for a work by a living Black artist.

Browse a collection of Kerry James Marshall’s art on 1stDibs.

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KERRY JAMES MARSHALL Untitled (Frankenstein), 2010 - Hand-Signed
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Paper Size: 24.5 x 19 inches ( 62.23 x 48.26 cm ) Image Size: 16 x 12 inches ( 40.64 x 30.48 cm ) Framed: No Condition: A: Mint Additional Details: Hand signed, titled, dated and nu...
Category

2010s Contemporary Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Etching

KERRY JAMES MARSHALL Woman, 2010 - Hand-Signed
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Paper Size: 26.25 x 21 inches ( 66.675 x 53.34 cm ) Image Size: 15.75 x 12 inches ( 40.005 x 30.48 cm ) Framed: Yes Condition: A: Mint Additional Details: This is signed and numbere...
Category

2010s Contemporary Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Etching

KERRY JAMES MARSHALL Handsome Young Man, 2010 - Hand-Signed
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Paper Size: 26.25 x 21 inches ( 66.675 x 53.34 cm ) Image Size: 16 x 11.75 inches ( 40.64 x 29.845 cm ) Framed: Yes Condition: A: Mint Additional Details: Hand signed, titled, dated...
Category

2010s Contemporary Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Etching, Aquatint

Set of Six (Six) Scout Series Embroidered textile Patches brand new and sealed
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in New York, NY
KERRY JAMES MARSHALL Set of Six (Six) Scout Series Embroidered Patches, 2017 Rayon thread on poly twill backed embroidered patches, set of six. Brand new in original packaging. Large...
Category

2010s Realist Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Textile, Mixed Media

Keeping the Culture. mixed media signed print, renowned African American artist
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in New York, NY
Kerry James Marshall Keeping the Culture, 2011 Silkscreen and linocut in colors with full margins and deckled edges on Arches paper with full margins and deckled edges 20-1/4 x 30-1/4 inches Hand signed, titled and numbered 79/100 by Kerry James Marshall in graphite pencil on the front Published by Africa House International, Chicago Unframed Kerry James Marshall's 2011 "Keeping the Culture" is based upon the artist's eponymous painting done the year earlier. Marshall, along with his dealer, were voted by ArtReview the top two of the 100 most influential people in the art world of 2018 - even ahead of the #MeToo movement, and ahead of figures like Jeff Koons, Larry Gagosian and Eli Broad! His paintings now sell for tens of millions of dollars - after P. Diddy paid $21 million for a painting. The present work "Keeping the Culture" is an extremely desirable work of art and exemplifies Marshall's style. For a feature profile/article written for Marshall's first retrospective - a blockbuster show entitled "MASRY" at the Museum of Contemporary Art, LA, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Met Breuer in New York, Barbara Isenberg of the LA Times wrote: ." The New York Times called the show “smashing” and its subject “one of the great history painters of our time.” The New York Review of Books and Artforum magazine put large images from the show on their January covers. “I’ve been acutely aware that museums are behind their academic colleagues in terms of thinking of representation and people of color,” MOCA chief curator Helen Molesworth says. “I find Kerry’s paintings ravishing — they are drop dead, great paintings — and they have an extra level of reward for people who hold in their heads a history of Western painting.” Marshall is a compelling storyteller, whether on canvas or in conversation. Talking at length during a visit to MOCA, he is easygoing but eloquent, recalling his neighborhood in Birmingham, Ala., where he was born in 1955, or about growing up black there and in Los Angeles. He remembers the names of teachers who encouraged him. Asked when he first began to notice a lack of black subjects...
Category

2010s Contemporary Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Screen, Pencil, Mixed Media, Linocut

Memento (Dr. Martin Luther King John F. Kennedy Malcolm X, Civil rights workers
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in New York, NY
Kerry James Marshall Memento, 1997 Featuring civil rights leaders: Dr. Martin Luther King, John F. Kennedy, Medger Evers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, Malcolm X, Black Panthers 6-Color lithograph with gold powder on soft white Somerset paper with deckled edges Pencil signed, titled and numbered 6/33 on the front Frame included: elegantly floated and framed in a handmade museum frame with UV plexiglass This is an excellent impression of a scarce and consequential 1997 Kerry James Marshall graphic work printed by Master Printer Ross Zirkle (1955-2007) at Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico (the publisher). Other examples of this work are in major public institutions such as SFMOMA, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Yale University Art Gallery and the Library of Congress - which is why Memento is so elusive and rarely found on the market. The present example is elegantly floated and framed in a white wood hand made museum frame with UV Optium Acrylic glazing - the highest quality. Measurements: Framed: 33 inches vertical by 47 inches horizontal by 2 inches Artwork: 30 inches vertical by 44 inches horizontal Bibliography: Pamela Franks and Robert E. Steele, Embodied: Black Identities in American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2010), 62, ill. Text from the Yale University Art Gallery website: Kerry James Marshall’s Memento memorializes the persons associated with the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. The work depicts multiple headshots of civic leaders and other individuals who died during this era, such as Medger Evers and members of the Black Panther Party. Rather than drawing these images, Marshall uses the newspaper obituary photographs that the general public is accustomed to seeing. He exalts the fallen individuals by placing angel wings behind most of the images. A black woman carrying an urn of flowers stands before portraits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and John F. Kennedy. The woman turns toward the viewer, asking us, and the larger community, to “mourn” with her. And from the Birmingham Alabama Art...
Category

1990s Contemporary Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Gold

Kerry James Marshall Souvenir 1 Pillow Sham Mastry Los Angeles
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in Draper, UT
200 Produced on behalf of the 2017 Mastry Exhibition in Los Angeles Condition is sealed in original plastic 19 x 25 inches Digital Screenprint on Cotton Percale and Cotton Duck Thr...
Category

2010s Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Cotton

MOCA LA Street Banner (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles)
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in New York, NY
Kerry James Marshall MOCA LA Street Banner (Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles), 2017 Silkscreen on Vinyl 95 × 34 inches Unframed This large, banner is amazing and super dramati...
Category

2010s Contemporary Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Plastic, Screen

Kerry James Marshall Banner Authentic Mastry Exhibition
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in Draper, UT
Mastry 2017 Exhibition Banner Actual Banner Prominently Displayed in Downtown LA Throughout a career spanning four decades, Kerry James Marshall has continuously interrogated and addressed the omission of black individuals from the Western art-historical canon. Across painting and a variety of different media, his complex and multilayered portrayals synthesize disparate genres, while seeking to counter stereotypical representations. As Lanka Tattersall notes, "Marshall's determination to mark the historical absence of black bodies in the Western canon of painting and his emphatic, programmatic insertion of blackness into the field of art are carried through the literal matter—the pigments—of his paintings."1 Marshall was born in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama. He studied at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, earning his B.F.A. in 1978 and an honorary doctorate in 1999. In 2014, Marshall joined David Zwirner...
Category

2010s Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Vinyl

BROWNIE
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in Washington , DC, DC
comes with original packaging
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Thread

DEN MOTHER
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in Washington , DC, DC
comes with original packaging
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Thread

CUB SCOUT
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in Washington , DC, DC
comes with original packaging
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Thread

SCOUT (BOY)
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in Washington , DC, DC
comes with original packaging
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Thread

SCOUT SERIES SET OF 6
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in Washington , DC, DC
comes with original packaging
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Thread

MOCA LA banner
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in Washington , DC, DC
Double sided vinyl banner produced in 2017 on the occasion of the exhibition Kerry James Marshall: Mastry at MOCA March 12-July 3, 2017.
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Plastic

Mastry New and Sealed Exhibition Hardcover Catalogue
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in Draper, UT
The definitive monograph on contemporary African American painter Kerry James Marshall, accompanying a major traveling retrospective. This long-awaited volume celebrates the work of ...
Category

2010s Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Archival Paper

Kerry James Marshall-Untitled (Handsome Young Man)-24.5" x 19"-Etching-2010
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Paper Size: 24.5 x 19 inches ( 62.23 x 48.26 cm ) Image Size: 16 x 12 inches ( 40.64 x 30.48 cm ) Framed: No Condition: A: Mint Additional Details: Hand signed, titled, dated and numbered out of 50 in pencil by Marshall. Hardground etching with aquatint printed on Somerset white paper. Published by Paulson Fontaine Press...
Category

2010s Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Etching

Untitled (Frankenstein)
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in Berkeley, CA
Hardground Etching
Category

2010s Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Etching

Untitled (Bride of Frankenstein)
By Kerry James Marshall
Located in Berkeley, CA
Hardground Etching
Category

2010s Kerry James Marshall Art

Materials

Etching

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Supermodel by Kerry James Marshall
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Kerry James Marshall-Untitled (Woman)-26.25" x 21"-Etching-2017-Contemporary
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Untitled (Pen)
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Untitled (Woman)
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Kerry James Marshall art for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Kerry James Marshall art available for sale on 1stDibs. If you’re browsing the collection of art to introduce a pop of color in a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of blue and other colors. You can also browse by medium to find art by Kerry James Marshall in cord, thread, fabric and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 21st century and contemporary and is mostly associated with the contemporary style. Not every interior allows for large Kerry James Marshall art, so small editions measuring 3 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of David Salle, Gigi Mills, and Jose Bedia. Kerry James Marshall art prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $500 and tops out at $60,000, while the average work can sell for $2,800.

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Questions About Kerry James Marshall Art
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Kerry James Marshall is famous for using a variety of black pigments to depict themes of the black experience and history. His works confront stereotypes of African-Americans by celebrating and commemorating moments in their history. Browse a selection of Kerry James Marshall art on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Kerry Marshall's art is in galleries and museums located around the world. Some of these institutions include Modern Art Oxford in Oxford, UK; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, California; the Baltimore Museum of Art in Baltimore, Maryland; and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. You'll find a selection of Kerry Marshall art on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Kerry James Marshall is known for his acrylic paintings that pair realism with elements of collage and signage. Strongly influenced by childhood experiences in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles, his art reflects this by confronting racial stereotypes in contemporary society. On 1stDibs, find a variety of original artwork from top artists.

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