press release

This exhibition presents a focused survey of the work of the seminal American artist Kerry James Marshall. The artists’ first solo show in the UK presents collages, large-scale paintings, drawings and prints from the late 1970s to the present. Marshall’s work draws on a rich layering of language and culture, interweaving narratives from art history, society and politics.

Working representationally, Marshall injects his subject - the black figure - into the canon of Western art history, where it has previously been peripheral. His use of cultural symbolism and pictorial devices is informed by his experiences of the world and his avid collecting of artefacts from African and African-American history, art and literature; classical mythology; folklore; film history; posters and comic books.

With a developing strategy for addressing the complicated, intertwined cultural and political rhetoric of racial representation, and with his attention to detail and interest in how a work is organised, Marshall’s paintings erupt with an explosion of narratives and textures, interweaving aspects of art history and American history with reference to: the American Civil Rights Movement, the history of slavery, public housing projects, the modern welfare state, social reform and literature, as well as cyclic narratives of birth, death, life and love.

Along The Way is curated by Deborah Smith and organised by Camden Arts Centre in association with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, The New Art Gallery Walsall and Modern Art Oxford.

A fully illustrated publication with texts by Luc Tuymans, Valerie Cassell Oliver, and an interview with Kerry James Marshall by the exhibition curator Deborah Smith, is available from the BALTIC Shop.

The exhibition is supported by Art Council England National Touring and The Andy Warhol Foundation.


Kerry James Marshall - Along The Way
Kurator: Deborah Smith