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Kerry James Marshall: Mastry

Written by Ian Alteveer, Helen Molesworth, Dieter Roelstraete and Abigail Winograd

  • May 3, 2016
  • Hardcover
  • Art - Individual Artists - Monographs
  • Skira Rizzoli
  • 9 x 11-5/8
  • $65.00
  • $65.00
  • 978-0-8478-4833-1

About This Book

The definitive monograph on contemporary African American painter Kerry James Marshall, accompanying a major traveling retrospective. This long-awaited volume celebrates the work of Kerry James Marshall, one of America’s greatest living painters. Born before the passage of the Civil Rights Act, in Birmingham, Alabama, and witness to the Watts riots in 1965, Marshall has long been an inspired and imaginative chronicler of the African American experience. Best known for large-scale interiors, landscapes, and portraits featuring powerful black figures, Marshall explores narratives of African American history from slave ships to the present and draws upon his deep knowledge of art history from the Renaissance to twentieth-century abstraction, as well as other sources such as the comic book and the muralist tradition. With luscious color and brushstrokes and highly detailed patterning, his direct and intimate scenes of black middle-class life conjure a wide range of emotions, resulting in powerful paintings that confront the position of African Americans throughout American history. Richly illustrated, this monumental book features essays by noted curators as well as the artist, and more than 100 paintings from throughout the artist’s career arranged thematically by subject: history painting; beauty, as expressed through the nude, portraiture, and self-portraiture; landscape; religion; and the politics of black nationalism.

About the Author

Ian Alteveer is associate curator in the department of modern and contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Helen Molesworth is the chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles. Dieter Roelstraete is a curator of Documenta 14 and the former Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA). Abigail Winograd is a research associate at the MCA.

Author Bookshelf

Helen Molesworth


  • "Kerry James Marshall is the first comprehensive study of the life and oeuvre of one of America's greatest modern painters. Marshall has not received the attention he deserves and Kerry James Marshall aims to change that. This book is packed with stunning replicas of Marshall's paintings. It is simply a pleasure to hold it. It is a must have for all students and experts of painting."
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