Text by Elena Filipovic

Legendary Chicago-based painter Kerry James Marshall is as much an astute social critic and incredible authority on art history as he is a painter’s painter. In addition to reproductions of paintings, this book presents the text of a speech Marshall gave at Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany, upon receiving the Wolfgang Hahn Prize in 2014, a prize awarded annually to artists who have an “oeuvre that has consistently and substantially continued to develop and is recognized by international experts.”

In the lecture he talks about his life, about his interest in Afro-American culture, about social injustice, race relations, power dynamics, and ultimately calls for the black subject, so long ignored in art history, to finally be represented—in reaction to the fact that beauty has been synonymous with being white through almost all of art history.