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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 Marshall’s work is based on a broad range of art-historical references, from Renaissance painting to black folk art, from El Greco to Charles White.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 Black people 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.

Zarouhie Abdalian

Born in 1982 in New Orleans, Zarouhie Abdalian now lives in Oakland, California. Her site- and context-specific sculptures and installations are often located in public spaces and draw viewers into participating and engaging with their surroundings.

Yun-Fei Ji

Yun-Fei Ji was born in 1963 in Beijing, China, and now lives and works in New York, Ohio, and Beijing. Using traditional Chinese painting techniques and addressing contemporary social, environmental, and political issues, Ji’s work marries history with the present.

The Propeller Group

The Propeller Group consists of Phunam, Matt Lucero, and Tuan Andrew Nguyen, was formed in 2006 and is based in Ho Chi Minh City. The collective creates large-scale productions that combine fine art and media practices, often collaborating with international artists and cultural producers.

Christopher Myers

Christopher Myers was born in New York, where he continues to live and work. An acclaimed writer and illustrator of young-adult literature, Myers’s artistic practice is equally rooted in his storytelling and interest in global affairs.

William Cordova

William Cordova was born 1971 in Lima, Peru, spent his childhood in Miami, and now lives and works in Lima, New York, and Miami. His multimedia practice includes installation, drawing, and sculpture, on which he has focused his attention in recent years.

Lonnie Holley

Lonnie Holley was born in 1950 in Birmingham, Alabama. One of the South’s preeminent self-taught artists, Holley lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. His practice extends from assemblage and sculpture to music. He made his debut as a recording artist in 2012, at sixty-two years old; he has since worked with such figures as Bon Iver, the Dirty Projectors, and Animal Collective.

“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

Kerry James Marshall

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Kerry James Marshall

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Kerry James Marshall

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