Friday, July 22, 2016

Kerry James Marshall's Masterful Works at the MCA

In an art world where Black subjects and Black artists had all but been rendered invisible, Kerry James Marshall has been making powerful images. His show at the MCA is a celebration of his mastery of painting. I find his distinctive pitch-black people recognizable anywhere I've seen his work. He is definitely a force to be reckoned with.

I recommend seeing this show along with the Art Institute's Invisible Man show of work by Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison. The two shows create a powerful dialogue between Black creatives who refuse to be rendered invisible. Mastry continues through September 25th.

Looking for the Invisible Man

I had no idea that Ralph Ellison and Gordon Parks, the author of Invisible Man and the photographer who created so many iconic images, collaborated with each other, but thanks to The Art Institute of Chicago, I do now. Sadly, their work together wasn't published as they had intended. However, through good curation, the museum has brought their words and images together for a exhibit that makes a still-timely statement about the status of African-Americans, Black men in particular, in a country continues to grant us second-class citizenship. 

In the wake of so many tragic current events, this show feels especially relevant to me. It is on view until August 28th and I definitely recommend it. This show, coupled with the current Kerry James Marshall retrospective at the MCA, would make a very thought-provoking paring.

And if you can't make it,take a look at this video from the Art Institute:

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