Untitled: Excavation (2022)

Kerry James Marshall
Untitled: Excavation
Site-specific installation: marble mosaic tiles Dimensions variable
Commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation Sharjah Art Foundation Collection
Courtesy of the artist; David Zwirner Gallery, New York; Jack Shainman Gallery, New York; and Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Seattle


Kerry James Marshall is a visual artist best known for his large- scale acrylic paintings chronicling the modern African-American experience and claiming space for Black representation in a medium from which Black figures have historically been excluded. The site-specific installation Untitled: Excavation (2022) takes the form of a speculative archaeological find that unearths the fragmented ruins of a residential dwelling and interrupts a planned development.
A pedestrian bridge from which to survey the excavation at an elevated vantage point introduces viewers to a mysterious constellation of images. Reflecting on the impermanence of human bodies, the strata of cultural bodies and the artifice of historical representation, Marshall invites viewers to think etiologically, devising their own mythic interpretation of these fictive ruins.