In The Village Voice R.C. Baker calls Marshall’s paintings defiant kitsch. “Kerry James Marshall’s paintings of black people simply being human stand out in an art-industrial complex where subjects, artists, purveyors, and consumers are pretty much white folk. In his series of five large grisaille paintings, he imagines a young man lifting his girl through the air in graceful arcs. The lovers are seen from different angles, and viewing the panels in quick succession conveys a swirling, physical joy. This romantic vision is complicated by such kitsch as floating hearts, Black Power fists, and rococo cascades of flowers entwining the word ‘LOVE.’ Marshall masterfully leavens old-school pictorial space with poster-shop sentiment, demanding classical vigor from his compositions while also embracing Everyman tastes.” Read more.
“Kerry James Marshall: Black Romantic,” Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, NY. Through July 3.