2. Kerry James Marshall: Mastry at Met Breuer

The much-anticipated Met Breuer exhibition, Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, opened October 25. The exhibit is the largest museum retrospective of his work, consisting of nearly 80 works spanning the artist’s 35-year career, and is displayed on two full floors of the museum. Known for work that reflects African-American life and history, his experiences in Birmingham, Alabama – where he was born, and Watts, during the Black Power and Civil Rights movements, had significant impact on his paintings. At the age of seven, his family moved from Birmingham to Nickerson Gardens in Watts in 1963.

The painting above, entitled Watts, is Marshall’s interpretation of the housing development his family called home. In this painting, he pays tribute to the place and time, a “bright, sunny oasis, complete with palm trees,” but also a place where, in 1965, tensions between the black community and police escalated into the Watts Riots. His artistic endeavors have included cartoon strips, which is his narrative addressing the lack of black superheroes found in American comics. An extension of this work, Rhythm Mastr, was featured on the High Line wall at 22nd Street last year. Mr. Marshall’s work was also included in the opening of Met Breuer earlier this year.

The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Kerry James Marshall: Mastry will be on view through January 30, 2017, and will include related programing and daily tours. Met Breuer is located at 945 Madison Avenue, at 75th Street. While your there, check out Diane Arbus: In the Beginning, which runs through November 27th, on the second floor.

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