Kerry James Marshall, American, b. 1955, b. Birmingham, AL
Memento #5, 2003
Acrylic and glitter on paper adhered to unstretched canvas banner
9 feet x 13 feet (274.32 x 396.24 cm)
Purchase: acquired through the generosity of the William T. Kemper Foundation---Commerce Bank, Trustee, 2003.24
This work is copyrighted. Consult copyright information for permission to reproduce.
Location: Gallery L5
Memento #5 is the final painting in Chicago-based artist Kerry James Marshall’s Memento series, a five-part elegy to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The monochromatic painting on unstretched canvas depicts a black angel standing at the center of a living room and facing outward. Solemnly, the figure draws closed a glittery, silver curtain, symbolically concluding a decade of peaceful civil disobedience, courageous marches, visionary speeches, righteous legislation, explosive riots and tragic deaths. Behind the angel, at left and right, are the faces of four assassinated leaders: President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Each year of the tumultous decade is counted out between the glitter strands, and fragments of the word “Remember” are also visible. At the bottom of the painting, Marshall has written, “What a Time. What a Time.”