Untitled (Man) is a follow-up to Satisfied Man – the woodcut that Marshall made in the autumn of 2015 and which built on the powerful, joyful paintings shown at the Look See exhibition, held at the David Zwirner gallery in London (2014). The new woodcut shows another satisfied and happy man; the figure reflects the creation of positive images to which Marshall has devoted himself as a counterweight to the stereotyping of black people in art. All too often, their representation is loaded down with exaggerated symbolism or, conversely, with negative connotations.
Marshall printed the first layer in brown ink, over which he then applied a second, black layer. The overlapping elements are glossy and give the work a unique texture.
Kerry James Marshall uses painting, sculptural installations, collage, video, and photography to comment on the history of black identity both in the United States and in Western art. He is well known for paintings that focus on black subjects historically excluded from the artistic canon, and has explored issues of race and history through imagery ranging from abstraction to comics.