"Many Mansions" (1994)

"Many Mansions," 1994
Acrylic and collage on unstretched canvas, 114 x 135 inches
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

"The painting is built around what you could call a very classically Renaissance, architectural, or geometric structure. The most obvious thing you can see is this pyramidal, triangulated structure that the figures are fitted into...One of the reasons I used that structure was because when I started out the artists and works that I really admired- like Géricault's 'The Wrath of the Medusa'- that whole genre of history painting, that grand narrative style of painting, was something that I really wanted to position my work in relation to. And so in order to achieve a similar kind of authority that those paintings had...I had to adopt the similar structural format to develop my painting."
- Kerry James Marshall