“I’m drawn in to “Great America” by its exuberant language (“WOW”), and the brightly colored, painterly, image with black figures in a boat entering a dark, ghost-filled amusement park tunnel. When I notice the single head bobbing above the water line in the upper right, the tone shifts. Even the word “FUN” is redacted. I realize this scene refers to the Middle Passage of slaves traveling from Africa to the New World. The title asks, as the artist has said, “when did America become great for black folks?”—Molly Donovan, associate curator of modern art
It’s American artist Kerry James Marshall’s birthday today. The artist recasts the idea of traditional history painting for contemporary audiences. See his work, “Great America” (1994), on view in our just-reopened East Building galleries. #myngadc
Shared by ngadc (National Gallery of Art) and selected for Art.