David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Kerry James Marshall. On view at the London gallery, this is the artist's first solo show in the city since his 2005 presentation at the Camden Arts Centre. It is concurrent with the travelling exhibition Kerry James Marshall: Painting and Other Stuff, currently on view at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid (both through 26 October 2014).
With a career spanning almost three decades, Marshall is well known for his paintings depicting actual and imagined events from African-American history. His complex and multilayered portrayals of youths, interiors, nudes, housing estate gardens, land- and seascapes synthesize different traditions and genres, while seeking to counter stereotypical representations of black people in society. Engaging with issues of identity and individualism, he frequently depicts his figures in an extreme opaque, black colour, which stylizes their appearance while being a literal and rhetorical reference to the term black and its diametric opposition to the white "mainstream." With art history today acknowledged as having been written from the perspective of white Western artists, Marshall assimilates the limitations and contradictions inherent in its styles, subjects, and chronologies, creating highly personalised works that appear recognisable and unfamiliar at the same time.