429
429
Kerry James Marshall
DRAW ME 
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Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
1,500,0002,000,000
LOT SOLD. 1,695,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
429
Kerry James Marshall
DRAW ME 
Estimate
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
1,500,0002,000,000
LOT SOLD. 1,695,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
New York

Kerry James Marshall
B. 1955
DRAW ME 
signed, signed with the artist's initials, titled and dated 2012 
acrylic and graphite on PVC, in artist's frame
58 1/2 by 47 1/2 in. 148.6 by 120.7 cm.
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Provenance

Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner 

Exhibited

Vienna Secession, Kerry James Marshall: Who's Afraid of Red, Black and Green, September - November 2012, pp. 44 and 58-59, illustrated in color

Catalogue Note

"Paintings on the scale of Barnett Newman's Who's Afraid of Red Yellow and Blue, and Mark Rothko's rectangles, were designed to engulf the spectator and stimulate a transcendental experience of the sublime. I'm not particularly interested in transcendence, per se, but I am trying to retain a certain sense of awe and amazement generated by the scale alone. I am trying for a kind of disembodied poetry firmly tethered to Black American history and culture."

Kerry James Marshall 

As one of the most influential living painters of social history, Kerry James Marshall’s Draw Me, is a powerful example of the artist’s masterful revision of African American experience through art. Executed in 2012, the sweeping canvas of the present work unveiled in the widely celebrated Vienna Secession show entitled, Who’s Afraid of Red, Black and Green, is a powerful dialectic of the overt and sub-textual manifestations of black consciousness. Draw Me is part of this acclaimed 16-part series of works that examines the visual representation of black Identity via a distinct iconography, stylized to not only reflect the accomplished artistry of pioneering African American artists throughout history, but also to circumvent their social and cultural marginalization. For Marshall, the uncompromising portrayal of the profile of the black female figure in Draw Me is a sharp departure from historical representations that deflected the idea of blackness “by compromising it, by either fragmenting it, or otherwise distorting it” (The artist in "Kerry James Marshall on Painting Blackness as a Noun Vs. Verb," The Phaidon Folio, 7 June, 2017).

The lustrous surface of Draw Me is part of Marshall’s complex visual strategy of invoking the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. Born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1955 during the genesis of the Civil Rights Movement, Marshall swiftly relocated to Los Angeles after the Ku Klux Klan’s bombing of a local Baptist church that resulted in the death of four girls, only to live through the largest urban rebellion of the Civil Rights era, the Watts Riots. The present work’s horizontal splashes of saturated bands of vibrant acrylic are not only indicative of the vigor in Marshall’s gestural brushstrokes, but are also reflective of a politically charged tricolor palette of red, black, and green – the colors of the flag of the Pan-African liberation movement – that are still used as an emblem of Black Power. The flawless integration of tricolor in Draw Me incites historical specificity in an effort to shape modern discourse surrounding Black Power’s legacy: “You know, black power has not gone far enough! Black power began to construct new framework for the development of black people, including through visual forms. The point was to counter racism and inequality. But racism still persists. The goals [of the Black Power Movement] have not yet been realized” (Rael Jero Salley, The New Danger of the Pure Idea: Who’s Afraid of Red, Black and Green, Vienna Succession, 2012, p. 4).

Marshall’s profound visual vocabulary effortlessly links the Black Power Movement with the skillful artistic practice in Draw Me, which draws direct inspiration from the Abstract Expressionist movement and Color Field painting. In Draw Me, Marshall elegantly references the aesthetic achievements of the giants of that school, particularly Barnett Newman, by incorporating the same flatness and nuances in planes of color. The series that Draw Me belongs to, Who’s Afraid of Red, Black and Green, is also an explicit re-appropriation of Barnett Newman’s monumental group of 1960s abstract paintings, Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue, that addressed post-war anxieties and fear through color. Marshall inscribed the neon text ‘DRAW ME’ in relief along the surface of the present work to highlight the role this kind of abstraction has taken in further pushing African American subject matter from the mainstream in art. By superimposing his own pictorial vision on top of this art historical template, Marshall reinserts a black subjectivity into artistic discourse.

The careful articulation of the progression of the African American female profile in Draw Me intentionally blurs the distinction between ambiguity and specificity. By enclosing the central figure of the entirely opaque African-American female profile in the deepest shade of black acrylic with several preliminary illustrations of the female silhouette, “black” becomes a mnemonic device, a hue, symbol, metaphor and an idea. Marshall inscribes the first name and initials of his wife, Cheryl Lynn Bruce, beneath two of the transparent female profiles in an ingenious personalization of the identity of the African American female. The artist even inscribes his own initials and trademark under the central female silhouette, effortlessly oscillating between the anonymity of mass-production and the highly intimate connection in the present work.

 

 

 

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
New York