Vignette (Wishing Well), 2010
Color aquatint etching with collage on Somerset white paper
Image size: 44 1/2 x 34 inches
Paper size: 53 x 41 inches
Edition of 50
Paulson Bott Press, Berkeley, CA
Kerry James Marshall has long been an inspired and imaginative chronicler of the African American experience. He is known for his large-scale narrative history paintings featuring black figures —defiant assertions of blackness in a medium in which African Americans have long been invisible—and his exploration of art history covers a broad temporal swath stretching from the Renaissance to twentieth- century American abstraction. Marshall critically examines and reworks the Western canon through its most archetypal forms: the historical tableau, landscape and genre painting, and portraiture. His work also touches upon vernacular forms such as the muralist tradition and the comic book in order to address and correct, in his words, the ''vacuum in the image bank'' and to make the invisible visible.
Marshall was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and grew up in Los Angeles. He holds a BFA (1978) and honorary doctorate (1999) from the Otis College of Art and Design. The artist works in Chicago, where he has lived since the late 1980s. Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, the largest museum retrospective to date of his work, will open on October 25, 2016, at The Met Breuer as a cornerstone of its inaugural season.