For Marshall, the notion of beauty is closely connected with our experience of images in the world, which is dominated by idealised, unattainable representations of the body, particularly of Caucasian women. He has made numerous works that explore this theme from alternative perspectives.

"What's excellent is always beautiful: A perfection of form - not necessarily symmetry, but when the relationships among parts seem essential. That doesn't always mean grace; it can also be coarse. There's a beautiful horror. John Graham says, in 'System and Dialectics of Art', that beauty is the beautiful taken to the verge of ugliness. Beauty isn't prettiness, but an understanding of the relationship of the parts. You can calculate how a thing has been pushed as far as it can be pushed, but with control. It's not random" (Kerry James Marshall in conversation with Arthur Jafa, 2000)

Items View all

Actors View all