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Kerry James Marshall in Southern California

Kerry James Marshall, “Untitled (Pin-Up)”, 2008. Acrylic on PVC panel. Courtesy Koplin Del Rio.

An exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Kerry James Marshall (Season 1) is on view at Koplin Del Rio Gallery in Culver City, California through October 24, 2008. PORTRAITS, PIN-UPS And Wistful Romantic Idylls is Marshall’s sixth solo exhibition at the gallery.

Marshall describes the new work: “This continues my over-arching project of representing aspects of Black Culture rarely made visible in contemporary picture making. Secondarily, I am also interested in foregrounding the black figure in popular genres of painting not usually associated with the socio-political frame in which much African American art is seen through. For example, in the big coffee table book survey, The Great American Pin-Up, published by Taschen, not one of the sexy, dream girls is Black. Likewise, what are the chances of encountering a portrait (imaginary) of John Punch; Angry Black Man in any of the major museums of Los Angeles.” According to the press release, John Punch was an important figure: the first person in American history to be condemned by a State Court to a life sentence of slavery in 1646. Marshall’s John Punch; Portrait of an Angry Black Man is among the new paintings to be featured in the exhibition.

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