Limited only by ability to imagine possibilities (July 23 2012) Limited only by ability to imagine possibilities (July 23 2012)

Kerry James Marshall the 56 year old American artist painter known for his large-scale paintings, sculptures, and objects that take African-American life and history as their subject matter. His work often deals with the effects of the Civil Rights movement on domestic life, in addition to working with elements of popular culture. Marshall developed a signature style during his early years involving the use of extremely dark, essentially black figures. These images represent his perspective of African Americans with separate and distinct inner and outer appearances, while at the same time confronting racial stereotypes within contemporary American society. Marshall has been profiled by Rachel Wolff in an article on Artinfo, where he states “€œIf you look historically at the way painting has moved from representation to abstraction, the implications of that, in some ways, erased what people can identify as political and social content in a work, one of the quickest ways you can erase what they saw as limitations of ethnicity and race was to do abstract work, and by doing so, you would find your way into the mainstream of the art world. I am trying to demonstrate that there is a great deal of potential left in the black aesthetic and within the specificity of the Black Nationalist position as represented by the colors red, black, and green. That you can transcend what is perceived to be the limitation of a race-conscious kind of work. It is a limitation only if you accept someone else’s foreclosure from the outside. If you go into it yourself, you can exercise a good deal. And you are limited only by your own ability to imagine possibilities.”€


Inspired by Artinfo image source Ulrich Musum of Art