Any topic (writer’s choice)

You will be watching an artist lecture by Kerry James Marshall. Marshall presented this lecture in conjunction with his major retrospective exhibition “Mastry” at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Chicago in May 2016 ). In this lecture Marshall shares stories about his experiences as an emerging artist and his trajectory into a successful art career. This lecture sets the stage well for not only this week’s theme “Navigating the Art World,” but also for the entire term of this class. Marshall discusses many elements of artistic practice that we will be delving into as the term progresses, things like the importance of observation and deep looking, artistic research and issues of representation in the arts, to name only a few. I hope you enjoy this generous lecture by one of this country’s great contemporary painters.

Write a 300-400 word response to the Artist Lecture content.
You need to develop a solid and meaningful argument in response to the Thesis Prompt by reflecting on and actively referring to specific content from the Artist Lecture to support your reflections. You are writing abut your own observations, reflections and interpretations of the lecture, NOT simply offering us a summary of what the artist talked about.

Thesis Prompt:
Please reflect on what Marshall’s lecture revealed to you about contemporary art practice. You can draw on your own interpretations/reflections and also use what you’ve seen in this week’s other curriculum about Navigating the Art World as a baseline. Remember to support your reflections with specific references to content from Marshall’s lecture.

Here are some examples of how you could approach this, if you need a bit of guidance: did anything he share surprise you or affect any preconceptions you had about art making? What specific insights or stories from Marshall stuck out to you? Why? How do you understand the nature of artistic career-building based on Marshall’s reflections in relation to other things you learned in this week’s readings and/or Sonja’s lecture? Etc. The prompt is open-ended to allow you to explore your own interpretations and reactions to what you’ve encountered.


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