Kerry James Marshall is best known for his large-scale narrative paintings depicting the historically and socially potent struggles of African Americans during the civil rights movement of the 1960s. This installation features a 2007 acquisition, Marshall’s monumental 12-panel woodcut print Untitled (1998/2007), which, in its portrayal of domestic activity, references the art historical tradition of 17th-century genre scenes. Yet in depicting six African American men chatting quietly over food and coffee, the artist brings attention to society’s lingering and embedded racism, particularly as evidenced in its image culture, by defying expectations of what an assembled group of black figures might signify in viewers’ minds.
Organized by Susan Dackerman, Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator of Prints, Division of European and American Art, Harvard Art Museums.
This exhibition is made possible by generous support from the Agnes Gund Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art and the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer Jr. Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art, Harvard Art Museums.