Travel & See: Black Diaspora Art Practices since the 1980s
Kobena Mercer is Professor of History of Art and African American Studies at Yale University. He is author of Welcome to the Jungle: New Positions in Black Cultural Studies, editor of Cosmopolitan Modernisms, among other titles, and an inaugural recipient of the 2006 Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing.
Kerry James Marshall: The Painter of Afro-Modern Life
This monographic essay highlights Kerry James Marshall’s signature interest in archival imagery from the 1960s civil rights era, evoking a quest for social justice that haunts contemporary life because it remains unfulfilled. With attention to painterly devices that interrupt the picture plane, and the jet-black coloration of his monumental figurative ensembles, the analysis of Marshall’s self-positioning in relation to Western “history painting” situates him at a critical remove from the absolutes of Greenbergian modernism, since the intermedia nature of his practice cuts across abstraction, figuration, and conceptualism and thus aligns Marshall with collage-based traditions.