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Kerry James Marshall

Artist Known for Using African-American Life & History as Subject Matter for His Paintings and Sculptures

Artist Known for Using African-American Life & History as Subject Matter for His Paintings and Sculptures

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Chicago, IL, USA
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Kerry James Marshall Biography

Kerry James Marshall is recognized as one of the leading contemporary artists of his time. Internationally renowned, Marshall’s work interrogates Western art history—from the Renaissance to 20th-century American Abstraction—challenging and recontextualizing the canon to include themes and depictions that have been historically omitted. His mastery as an artist has radically changed what he calls “the lack in the image bank” by foregrounding Black subjects in his paintings.

Born in Birmingham at the start of the American Civil Rights movement, and later moving to the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles just before the 1965 Watts riots, Marshall’s work is inspired by his own personal history as well as what he interprets to be recurring elements of the American experience. As Carroll Dunham beautifully wrote in Artforum in 2017, “one might have thought it impossible for contemporary painting to simultaneously occupy a position of beauty, difficulty, didacticism, and formalism with such power. There really are no other American painters who have taken on such a project.”

Marshall’s illustrious career spans five decades. After he graduated with a BFA from Otis Art Institute in 1978, he began showing regularly on the West Coast, and in 1993 had his first solo show at Jack Shainman Gallery. In 1994 his first traveling exhibition, Telling Stories, opened at the Cleveland Museum of Art. It would be followed by many more, from the historically minded Mementos that originated at the Renaissance Society in Chicago, to Along The Way, which opened at the Camden Arts Center in London in 2005.

In the past decade, Marshall has had two major touring exhibitions. In 2016, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago opened Mastry, a retrospective that traveled to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. This exhibition followed an equally prestigious 2013-2014 European survey that traveled to the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Belgium, the Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, and then was simultaneously on view at Antoni Tapies Foundation, Barcelona and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid. In 2012 he had a solo exhibition at the Vienna Secession and in 2013 a solo show at the National Gallery in Washington, DC. Marshall has participated in numerous group exhibitions, biennials and public commissions. He was featured in the Venice Bienniale (2003 and 2015), the Carnegie International (1999 and 2018), and Documenta 12 (1997 and 2007). In 1997 he was awarded a MacArthur Grant. The National Cathedral in Washington, DC is currently working with Marshall to create two new stained glass windows.

Marshall is included in numerous public collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Birmingham Museum of Art, AL; the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; Harvard Art Museum, MA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; the Ludwig Museum, Cologne; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; the Tate Modern, London; the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; and the Yale University Art Gallery, CT.

Kerry James Marshall Videos

  • Kerry James Marshall wants to see black people in art, all the time ...
    Artist Kerry James Marshall discusses his relationship to the Old Masters and considers his inspiration for developing a "rhetoric of blackness" in...
  • Kerry James Marshall: In Conversation | Tate Talks
    Watch acclaimed American artist Kerry James Marshall discuss his career, work, and explorations of black culture.
  • MCA Talk: Kerry James Marshall
    Kerry James Marshall discusses his practice and the retrospective exhibition of his work at the MCA, April 23, 2016.

FAQs on booking Kerry James Marshall

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  • What are the speaker fees for Kerry James Marshall

    Speaking fees for Kerry James Marshall, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Kerry James Marshall are for live events and for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Kerry James Marshall, click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.
  • What topics does Kerry James Marshall speak about?

    Kerry James Marshall is a keynote speaker and industry expert whose speaking topics include Art, Arts & Humanities, Black History, Culture, Diversity, Literary, Speakers by Industry.
  • Where does Kerry James Marshall travel from?

    Kerry James Marshall generally travels from Chicago, IL, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
  • Who is Kerry James Marshall’s agent?

    AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully booked keynote speakers like Kerry James Marshall for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Availability button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Kerry James Marshall for your next private or corporate function.
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Kerry James Marshall is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Kerry James Marshall for your event is $5,000 - $10,000. Kerry James Marshall generally travels from Chicago, IL, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Mark Bradford, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker, Damon Davis and Hank Willis Thomas. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Kerry James Marshall for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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