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Kerry James Marshall at Prospect.3

December 12, 2014

Chicago-based artist Kerry James Marshall travels to the Prospect.3 biennial in New Orleans, Louisiana and speaks with five fellow artists and one collective: Zarouhie Abdalian, William Cordova, Lonnie Holley, Yun-Fei Ji, Christopher Myers, and The Propeller Group.

“When I talk to other artists I’m interested in hearing how they read their subjectivity and how it drives and motivates what they do,” says Marshall. “We [all] come from different positions at different times and we mean to make work for different purposes.” For Marshall, a biennial presents an opportunity to “try out something more experimental.”

His site-specific installation of futuristic gold plexiglass alcoves in the windows of the Ashé Cultural Arts Center creates “an otherworldly space” that “cuts against the grain of a kind of abjection that people associate with the recovery from [Hurricane] Katrina.” Prospect.3 is on view October 25, 2014 through January 25, 2015.

More information and credits


Artist to Artist Created & Produced by: Ian Forster. Editor: Morgan Riles. Cinematography: Ian Forster. Sound: Kyle Sheehan. Production Assistant: Christoph Lerch. Music: Pinch Music. Artists: Zarouhie Abdalian, William Cordova, Lonnie Holley, Yun-Fei Ji, Kerry James Marshall, Christopher Myers & The Propeller Group. Locations: Ashé Cultural Arts Center, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, Dillard University, New Orleans African American Museum, University of New Orleans St. Claude Gallery, and Xavier University. Thanks: Prospect New Orleans, Brooke Davis Anderson, Franklin Sirmans, David Zwirner Gallery, Jack Shainman Gallery, James Cohan Gallery, Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Lombard Freid Gallery, and Sikkema Jenkins & Co. An ART21 Workshop Production. © ART21, Inc. 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Kerry James Marshall at Prospect.3 was supported, in part, by The Lambent Foundation and by individual contributors.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Kerry James Marshall

The subject matter of Kerry James Marshall’s paintings, installations, and public projects is often drawn from African-American popular culture, and is rooted in the geography of his upbringing. Marshall’s work is based on a broad range of art-historical references, from Renaissance painting to black folk art, from El Greco to Charles White. A striking aspect of Marshall’s paintings is the emphatically black skin tone of his figures—a development the artist says emerged from an investigation into the invisibility of blacks in America and the unnecessarily negative connotations associated with darkness. The sheer beauty of his work speaks to an art that is simultaneously formally rigorous and socially engaged.

“When I talk to other artists I’m interested in hearing how they read their subjectivity and how it drives and motivates what they do.”

Kerry James Marshall

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