Circulars art

Year: 1999

Medium: woodcut on paper, edition ¾,

Size: 96 x 48 in. (each, 12 total)

Accession Number: 2000.12.a-l.

Purchased with funds provided by the Acquisition Trust.


Kerry James Marshall

Part of the Contemporary Art Collection

Marshall merged photo

This 50-foot long woodcut by Kerry James Marshall is a scene from an interior suburban home, in which six young black men are gathered for lunch or brunch or maybe coffee and conversation. In essence, there is no apparent action to the scene, but the subtext is rich because it challenges the conventional representations of black men which, as Marshall points out, are often times “represented as somehow threatening, somehow violent, somehow irresponsible, somehow nihilistic and alienated.” In addition, the activity of this informal gathering is a traditionally feminine one, which overlays additional complexities, raising questions of their sexuality. As the artist explains, it is not necessarily true, but the audience is drawn in, first by the challenge to stereotypes and secondly by the mystery of the underlying story. What brings these men together?

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