Thursday, November 3, 2016

Oh, Gag Me With A "Black Lives Matter" T-Shirt!: How Obama's presidency provoked a white backlash--and rekindled A Spirit Of Black Resistance

By LA Times, Oct 31, 2016 

For more than three decades, Kerry James Marshall has been making ravishing paintings about the lives of black Americans, working out of a studio in Chicago's South Side. The settings of his paintings are humble — housing-project gardens, kitchens, barbershops — but their scale, and the vision that informs them, are grand.

Marshall is the subject of a major retrospective at the Met Breuer, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The title of the show, “Mastry,” nicely captures the audacity of the artist’s hopes, his ambition to establish himself in a field dominated not only by white artists, but by an aesthetic regime whose notions of beauty, universality and, above all, mastery owe more than a little to a history of racial oppression. The black figures in Marshall’s paintings announce the exhilarating, almost shocking presence of something that, in most museums, has been felt mainly as an absence.

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