Kerry James Marshall – Painting and Other Stuff


M HKA, Antwerpen

03 October 2013 - 02 February 2014

Kerry James Marshall (°1955, Birmingham, Alabama) is widely regarded as one of the greatest painters of his generation. His work reflects his views on the complexity of the Afro-American situation, along with the ongoing issues of racial politics, cultural reproduction and social emancipation. In an attempt to reconcile the black identity and images of Western ideals, Marshall includes both in his paintings, which illustrate determinants of black identity within a historical context and in the context of the current socio-political situation.

Marshall also tackles the history of art: he strives for what he describes as filling the “hole in the image database" with his work while he raises pertinent questions about how the art system maintains itself and related issues of legitimacy, power and marginalisation.

Paintings were really only one facet of a multifaceted exhibition that also comprised sculpture, photography, installation, collage, video, prints, photo clippings and animation. It was precisely this aesthetic richness and visual intelligence which the M HKA sought to bring to the fore in the exhibition Kerry James Marshall - Paintings and other stuff - the largest exhibition of work by Marshall ever. Paintings and other stuff focused on ideas, such as ‘the approach to the history of art’, ‘notions of beauty’, ‘the image database’, ‘memorial’ and ‘the humdrum of every day’. The exhibition showed a glimpse of his inner world of ideas and ambitions.

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