Mastr of Detail: Exploring Kerry James Marshall’s Work

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Screenshot of the Kerry James Marshall microsite. Pictured: Kerry James Marshall, Voyager, 1992. Acrylic and collage on unstretched canvas; 91 ⅞ × 86 ½ in. (233.4 × 219.7 cm). National Gallery of Art, Washington, Corcoran Collection, gift of the Women’s Committee of the Corcoran Gallery of Art

on the Kerry James Marshall microsite

Kerry James Marshall’s paintings, in addition to being big and beautiful to behold, are packed with a wide range of references, such as Renaissance painting techniques, medical diagrams, Motown tunes, and Disney. That said, his works don’t come across as history lessons; they’re fun to parse through, like a visual puzzle that gets more and more interesting the longer, and closer, you look. We’ve selected a number of works on view in Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, open through September 25, to feature on the exhibition website, like the painting above. Each number points out a detail to look for when you next visit the museum and hints at the story behind the work. You can also read some of the essays from the catalogue, too.