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Kerry James Marshall's Mastry

Kerry James Marshall
From His Early Years at Otis College to the Walls of The Met

(above Untitled (Studio) 2014 © Kerry James Marshall / Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Standing in the studio of his childhood idol Charles White, Kerry James Marshall resolved to become an artist. This revelation is the memory behind Kerry James Marshall's Untitled (Studio). At the time, he was a seventh grader on a class visit to the painters' studio as part of a pre-college art class at Otis Art Institute, now Otis College of Art and Design. Marshall would later go on to receive a BFA and an honorary doctorate from Otis College and become a major figure in the art world. 

Kerry James Marshall: Mastry is the largest museum retrospective of the work of American artist and alumnus Kerry James Marshall. Encompassing nearly 80 works from over 35 years, the exhibition showcases Marshall's large-scale narrative works that capture the African American experience and celebrate the black figure. Bruce W. Ferguson, president of Otis College of Art and Design, met with Marshall ('78 Fine Arts) at the opening of the show. "For Otis where it all started. Where I found my people," he signed in an exhibition catalog for the College's collection, which is now on display in the Millard Sheets Library on campus.

 "Mastry   has a breakthrough feel: the suggestion of a new normal, in art and in the national consciousness," affirmed The New YorkerThe exhibition has received critical acclaim from T Magazine, The Guardian, Cultured Magazine, among others. The New York Times calls Marshall, " of the great history painters of our time."

Kerry James Marshall: Mastry is on view at The Met Breuer through January 29, 2017. For more information visit The exhibition, which first opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, will end it's three-city tour at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles from March 21 – July 2, 2017.