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Kerry James Marshall, Memento, 1997
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Kerry James Marshall
6-Color lithograph with gold powder on soft white Somerset paper with deckled edges. This work is floated and framed
Pencil signed, titled and numbered from the limited edition of 33 on the front
Printed by Master Printer Ross Zirkle (1955-2007) at Tamarind Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico (the publisher), with blind stamps, lower right
This is an excellent impression of a scarce and consequential 1997 Kerry James Marshall graphic work.
Other examples of Memento are in major public institutions such as SFMOMA, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Yale University Art Gallery - which is why Memento is so elusive and rarely found on the market.
The present example is elegantly floated and framed in a white wood hand made museum frame with UV Optium Acrylic glazing - the highest quality.
33 inches vertical by 47 inches horizontal by 2 inches
30 inches vertical by 44 inches horizontal
Pamela Franks and Robert E. Steele, Embodied: Black Identities in American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2010), 62, ill.
Text from the Yale University Art Gallery website:
Kerry James Marshall’s Memento memorializes the persons associated with the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s. The work depicts multiple headshots of civic leaders and other individuals who died during this era, such as Medger Evers and members of the Black Panther Party. Rather than drawing these images, Marshall uses the newspaper obituary photographs that the general public is accustomed to seeing. He exalts the fallen individuals by placing angel wings behind most of the images. A black woman carrying an urn of flowers stands before portraits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and John F. Kennedy. The woman turns toward the viewer, asking us, and the larger community, to “mourn” with her.
And from the Birmingham Alabama Art Museum:
Kerry James Marshall’s lithograph commemorates civil rights heroes Martin Luther King, Jr. and John F. Kennedy. They are portrayed on a banner that reads “We Mourn Our Loss,” modeled on similar tributes popular during the 1960s. Above the banner, lost civil rights and black power movement figures are represented as angels. We are invited to remember these important events in American history by a woman offering a vase of flowers to the memorial.
Here Marshall commemorates the civil rights era, but he also reminds us that the fight for civil rights and human rights was not over when he made the work in 1996. Born in Birmingham, Marshall moved from Alabama to Los Angeles in 1965—from one center of racial strife to another. He created this print shortly after Los Angeles was seized by riots protesting racially motivated police brutality in 1992. Today the Black Lives Matter movement continues to protest police brutality and serves as a means of public mourning.