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KERRY JAMES MARSHALL     "MASTRY"     MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART LOS ANGELES     7-31-2017
MAR 12, 2017 JULY 3, 2017

Kerry James Marshall is an artist that explores multiple themes in his vast ouevre. From paintings to sculpture his focus points inwards. With African-American roots and now a transplant in Chicago, Marshall, grips us with a primeval mood. He was born in Birmingham, Alabama and lived in Watts, a suburb of Los Angeles. Experiencing the Civil Rights Movement his themes showcase these ideals in all forms of his works. There might be a minute detail that ties the work to his thinking. In other works he explores a basic instinct of humanity using symbolism as a means to teach the audience about their subversive surroundings.

Marshall's poignant themes force us to look, if we are willing, to see another America. One that might not fit our sense of what it is to us. But something of a different nature all the while wrapping it into a beautiful figural display. His technique is highly painterly giving the audience a bird's eye view. The colors jump off the canvas. Each color ties another perfectly as if these colors had always existed in this world of imperfections.

Marshall doesn't have difficulty expressing his ideas. From thoughts to canvas each theme flows from one topic to another. There is a grand sense of focus that is implemented as the canvas becomes a vehicle for his mind and he forces us to dwell at the very concept from which the ideas are born. We may ignore our environment but Marshall does not, and drags us face first into the concrete. We are helpless to walk out of this world unaffected.

His recent exhibit at MOCA Los Angeles filled the giant rooms with giant pieces. The space was filled with spectators, who I felt, were completely engaged. This thirty-five year retrospective honored Marshall's work and it left an indelible mark on the people of Los Angeles. It was co-organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Met. Art Collector World had written an article about an MCA Chicago exhibit that was based around the civil rights movement, entitled "The Freedom Principle." It directly ties to Marshall's exhibit at MOCA LA. The goal of the Chicago exhibit was to connect the 1960's African American avant-garde to today's art and culture. Marshall seeks these same connections in his large paintings. Each piece is a scenario in which the viewer can draw from the mind of Marshall and his figures that beg contemplation.






BY ARTCOWO PRESS TEAM 2017

SOURCE: JAMES KAPSALIS, MOCA LA, MCA CHICAGO WEBSITES




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