Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh Acquires a Kerry James Marshall

Kerry James Marshall, Untitled (Gallery), 2016, acrylic on PVC panel, 60 ½ x 48 ½ in.COURTESY CARNEGIE MUSEUM OF ART

Kerry James Marshall, Untitled (Gallery), 2016, acrylic on PVC panel, 60 ½ x 48 ½ in.


I come bearing glorious news to start this day: the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh has acquired a 2016 Kerry James Marshall painting. The work in question, a five-by-four-foot slice of thick PVC panel pictured above (click to enlarge it!), is titled Untitled (Gallery). As my colleague Nate Freeman reported in October, the piece was on offer at the Frieze art fair in London at the booth of David Zwirner with an asking price of $1 million. The Carnegie reserved it at the fair, its purchase pending board approval. Now the acquisition is official.

As the Carnegie noted in a release sharing the news (which was first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), Marshall showed works from his “RYTHM MASTR” series at the 1999 Carnegie International, but the museum did not acquire those works. Pieces from “RYTHM MASTR” are included in the artist’s superb retrospective, which is now on view at the Met Breuer in New York and will travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in March.

Marshall’s recent works on PVC have been hot buys for leading institutions of late. The Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired a 2015 painting of a policeman (ARTnews Editor-in-Chief Sarah Douglas details that purchase in her profile of Marshall) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art picked up a large 2014 studio scene. Does your area art museum own a painting by America’s greatest living painter? If not, it is time to get your local curator on the line and encourage them to get moving.

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