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Black Aesthetics

Kerry James Marshall has been called an "art evangelist." It's a label he doesn't seem to mind.

Born in Alabama and currently living in Chicago, Marshall makes powerful and provocative works that both affirm and question black identity.

Through a mish-mash of influences and traditions – melding a graffiti artist's abstractions, the stylized naturalism of a portraitist, and a muralist's vivid palette – Marshall's scenes are comforting and jarring at the same time. Through this juxtaposition, the University of Illinois art professor challenges viewers and shares with them his skepticism about race relations in America.

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Visit PBS's Art:21, a series focusing on American artists of the 21st century, to learn more about Marshall, and other contemporary artists.

Want to see more of Marshall's work? Drop by Seattle's Greg Kucera Gallery or the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York City.

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Explore the world of Kerry James Marshall whose work, whether it be a painting, a sculpture or a comic book, always deserves a closer look.

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Join artist Kerry James Marshall as he talks about race and the misguided attempt to encourage "color-blindness."

 

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Souvenir IV, courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery.

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Souvenir II, courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery.

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Nat Shango, courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery.

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Black Power Prints, courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery.

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Memento, 1996, courtesy of Greg Kucera Gallery.

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Vignette #3, courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery.

 

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