Kerry James Marshall: Look See
Text by Robert Storr. Interview with the artist by Angela Choon
With a career spanning almost three decades, Kerry James Marshall is well known for his complex and multilayered portrayals of youths, interiors, nudes, housing estate gardens, land- and seascapes, all of which synthesize different traditions and genres while seeking to counter stereotypical representations of black people in society. Working across various mediums, from paintings and comic-style drawings to sculptural installations, photographs, and videos, the artist conflates actual and imagined events from African-American history, integrating a range of stylistic influences to address the limited historiography of black art.
Produced on the occasion of Marshall’s first exhibition at David Zwirner in London in 2014 and designed by JNL Design in Chicago, Look See features beautiful reproductions of every painting on view in the show as well as numerous details, preparatory drawings, installation photographs, new scholarship by Robert Storr and a conversation between the artist and Angela Choon, a Senior Partner at the gallery. As suggested by the show’s title, these portraits use the etymological differences between looking and seeing as their point of departure, featuring subjects whose dissociated stares seem as defiant as they are mystifying. In keeping with his signature approach, Marshall has painted his figures in strikingly opaque black pigments, both fashioning and abstracting their presences in order to assimilate the limitations and contradictions of style, subject, and chronology inherent in art-historical narratives written from a white, Western perspective. Taken all together, the range of materials included in Look See constitutes a vibrant and comprehensive portrait of Marshall’s original and ever-evolving practice.
Publisher: David Zwirner Books
Artists: Kerry James Marshall
Contributors: Robert Storr, Angela Choon
Designer: Jason Pickleman, JNL Design
Printer: Studio Fasoli, Verona, Italy
Publication Date: 2015
Dimensions: 10 x 12 in (25.4 x 30.5 cm)
Reproductions: 74 color
Retail: $65 | £42 | €57
Status: Out Of Print
Kerry James Marshall
With a career spanning almost three decades, Kerry James Marshall is well known for his paintings depicting actual and imagined events from African-American history. His complex and multilayered portrayals of youths, interiors, nudes, housing estate gardens, land- and seascapes synthesize different traditions and genres, while seeking to counter stereotypical representations of black people in society. Marshall also produces drawings in the style of comic books, sculptural installations, photography, and video. As with his paintings, these works accumulate various stylistic influences to address the historiography of black art, while at the same time drawing attention to the fact that they are not inherently partisan because their subjects are black.
Robert Storr is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Dean of the Yale School of Art. He was formerly Senior Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, where in 1996 he co-organized From Bauhaus to Pop: Masterworks Given by Philip Johnson, amongst numerous exhibitions. In 2002, he was named the first Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. From 2005 to 2007, he was Director of Visual Art for the Venice Biennale, the first American invited to assume that position.
Angela Choon joined David Zwirner in 1994 as a Director and is currently a Senior Partner and based in the gallery’s London location. Throughout the past two decades, she has overseen numerous shows at the gallery and collaborated on many major museum exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe and their accompanying publications.