Kerry James Marshall to Deliver the Annual Plonsker Family Lecture in Contemporary Art this Thursday!
An internationally recognized artist, Kerry James Marshall employs a broad range of art historical references from Renaissance painting to black folk art to comic books to create complex and dramatic works often on a large scale. His art explores contemporary issues in urban America and highlights the invisibility of African Americans in the history of Western art. He draws upon aspects of African-American popular culture in his paintings, sculptures and installations, reflecting the social and political context of his upbringing. According to Marshall: “You can’t be born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1955 and grow up in South Central [Los Angeles] near the Black Panthers headquarters, and not feel like you’ve got some kind of social responsibility. You can’t move to Watts in 1963 and not speak about it. That determined a lot of where my work was going to go.” Informed by this social perspective, Marshall has created artwork that examines and critiques African American lives in barbershops, middle class homes, housing projects and churches. His work has been described as not only socially engaging but also formally rigorous.
The lecture will take place this Thursday, September 22 at 7:00 pm at the Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall on the Williams College campus.
Above: Kerry James Marshall (American, b. 1954), Untitled, 2009, acrylic on pvc. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, NY