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Modern and Contemporary Art
Artist: Kerry James Marshall, American, born 1955



Acrylic on PVC panel

155.258 × 185.103 × 9.843 cm (61 1/8 × 72 7/8 × 3 7/8 in.)
Purchased with the Janet and Simeon Braguin Fund and a gift from Jacqueline L. Bradley, B.A. 1979
In this portrayal of a stately painter who turns to face the viewer, Kerry James Marshall participates in a long art historical tradition of images about image making. The sustained, self-aware gaze of the painter demands that the audience engage actively with the work. On the hand that grasps the palette, the painter’s thumbnail suggests her political stance: it is painted with the green, black and red of the Pan-African flag. Her own self portrait is a paint-by-numbers canvas, possibly implying that the reality of this painter upends our received and codified notions of gender, race, and identity.
On view
21st century

Jack Shainman Gallery, to 2009; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Pamela Franks and Robert E. Steele, Embodied: Black Identities in American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2010), 13, 23–26, cover ill. (front and back).

Jock Reynolds, “Director’s Report: July 1, 2009–June 30, 2010,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2010): 12–13, ill.

“Acquisitions,” https://artgallery.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Pub_Bull_acquisitions_2010.pdf (accessed 2012).

Pamela Franks, Jessica Sack, and John Walsh, “Looking to Learn, Learning to Teach,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2013): 45, fig. 5.

Matthew Monteith, “The Explainers,” Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2013): 55.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Unfinished, exh. cat. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2016), 245,300, fig. pl 205.

Helen Molesworth, ed., Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, exh. cat. (Chicago: Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, 2016), fig. pl 56.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.