Kerry James marshall

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Art History

Chromatic Black Crows by Artist Kerry James Marshall Consider the Precarity of Race in America

August 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

Two new paintings by Kerry James Marshall feature a central crow that looms over a botanical backdrop. One or two birdhouses, which have entrances that are too small for the blackbirds to fit through, are perched on the leafy branches along with more petite species. Part of an ongoing series, the acrylic paintings are based on John James Audubon's Birds of America, an…

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Art History Illustration Photography Science

A New Book Plunges into the Vast Diversity of the World’s Oceans Across 3,000 Years

July 28, 2022

Grace Ebert

Despite thousands of years of research and an unending fascination with marine creatures, humans have explored only five percent of the oceans covering the majority of the earth's surface. A forthcoming book from Phaidon dives into the planet's notoriously vast and mysterious aquatic ecosystems, traveling across the continents and three millennia to uncover the stunning diversity of…

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Art Documentary History

‘Black Art: In the Absence of Light,’ a New Documentary, Celebrates the Rich Legacy of Black Art

February 17, 2021

Grace Ebert

 "I saw the need to build cultural awareness by helping to revise and redefine American art," says the renowned professor, artist, and curator David Driskell in Black Art: In the Absence of Light. His words echo throughout the new HBO documentary—which was directed by Sam Pollard, with executive producers Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Jacqueline Glover—that uncovers the rich and underappreciated lineage of Black art. Structured chronologically, the feature-length film was released earlier this month and stems from Driskell's revolutionary exhibition Two Centuries of Black American Art, which opened in 1979 at LACMA and surveyed more than 200 works…

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Art

Invoking Black Masking Traditions, Artist Demond Melancon Beads Elaborate, Celebratory Portraits

March 31, 2022

Grace Ebert

Through intricately woven displays of minuscule glass beads and rhinestones, Big Chief Demond Melancon continues a legacy. He belongs to the tribe of the Young Seminole Hunters in New Orleans, where he was born and raised, and is a leader in the tradition of creating Mardi Gras suits. The "wearable sculptures" are elaborate and celebratory, and Melancon's works are known for their immense nature and for exhibiting his deft technical skill. Extremely labor-intensive,…

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Art History

The Gaze: Barry Jenkins Directs a Stunning Non-Narrative Film that Preserves the Legacy of Black Ancestors

May 18, 2021

Grace Ebert

 At the heart of Barry Jenkins’s extraordinarily moving new film is "the Black gaze; or the gaze distilled." The Oscar-winning director shot the standalone project while filming the TV adaptation of Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad, which premiered on May 14. Notably titled The Gaze, the parallel project isn't an episode of the series but rather a compelling collection of non-narrative portraits captured spontaneously alongside the show. Early on in production, Jenkins says in a statement, "I looked across the set and realized I was looking at my ancestors, a group of people whose images have been largely lost…

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