Doll Head

Kerry James Marshall

1978

Painting, 48 x 55 cm .
Materials: egg tempera, masonite

Collection: Courtesy Luis & Ana Serrano, Los Angeles.

Doll Head (1978) dates from Marshall's student days at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. In those days, Marshall still entertained romantic notions about being an artist. Like he said so himself he was seduced by his fantasy of being like Leonardo da Vinci, and so he wanted to have a studio – one with skylight with classic north light. He cut a hole in the roof of the garage and put on old window in, so that it would look the way it was supposed to. At the same time he had read in books that one of the best ways to learn how to paint was to work from still lifes, because you could take your time and learn how to handle the representation of many different surfaces. And since he wanted to develop figure-drawing skills, almost all of them were still lifes with dolls, in watercolor, in oil pastel, in chalk pastel.

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