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 Kerry James Marshall  (1955 - )

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Lived/Active: Illinois      Known for: social-satire painting, allegory

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Kerry Marshall does large-scale, highly stylized, allegorical paintings of African-American life including a major exhibition in 1998 tilted "Mementos," commemorating the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. He also did a series on low-income housing projects ironically depicted as idyllic places populated by inky-black figures emphasizing the word black. In addition to painting, Kerry Marshall also does sculpture, collage, photography, video and installation.

Marshall earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1978 and then became artist -in-residence at the Studio Museum of Harlem where a major exhibition of his work was held in December 2004.

Married to actress Cheryl Lynn Bruce, he moved to Chicago. His studio has been on the third floor of a renovated building on the south edge of the Chicago Loop. In 1993, he became an associate professor of studio art at the University of Illinois. He has also been a production manager of films focused on political and social issues. A major inspiration has been the work of Charles White.

In 2004, he was Recipient of the Distinguished Artist Fellowship and Stillwater Foundation Grant at the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin.

Sources include:
"Art in America", 10/2004
"The New York Times", December 17, 2004
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Kerry James Marshall was born in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1978 and then became artist-in-residence at the Studio Museum of Harlem. He was married to actress Cheryl Lynn Bruce; he moved to Chicago. His studio has been on the third floor of a renovated building on the south edge of the Chicago Loop. In 1993 he became an associate professor of studio art at the University of Illinois. He has also been a production manager of films focused on political and social issues. The work of Charles White has been a major inspiration for Marshall.

Marshall does large-scale, highly stylized, allegorical paintings of African-American life including a major exhibition in 1998 titled "Mementos," commemorating the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Portraits of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. occurred throughout. Other paintings depicted celebrated African-American musical and literary icons.


Written and submitted by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.

Sources include:
From the internet, AskART.com
Art in America, October 1997
Heroes and Martyrs by Susan Snodgrass in Art in America, November 1998



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