Kerry James Marshall

When: Wed., Oct. 10, 7 p.m. 2012

The Nasher celebrates its acquisition of a key early work by Kerry James Marshall, "Portrait of the Artist and Vacuum Cleaner" (1981), by hosting the Chicago artist for a lecture. You may recall Marshall's surprising formal range from the 30 Americans exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art in 2009. Three parts of a civil rights-era shrine protruded from a corner at uncomfortable distances from each other, signifying how trauma shatters memory. That work contrasted with Marshall's 50-foot-wide woodcut of an apartment's cross-section, capturing a domestic and intellectual moment in an African-American family's day. The Nasher's "Portrait" predates those works by almost two decades, depicting a large, draftsman-like vacuum in the foreground and a small, smiling, black-on-black portrait hanging on the wall behind. Marshall placed these masklike portraits in a variety of political contexts throughout the 1980s and 1990s. His free talk begins at 7 p.m. —Chris Vitiello

Price: Free

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