Kerry James Marshall

Untitled (London Bridge)


Kerry James Marshall born 1955
Acrylic paint on board
Support: 2137 × 3037 mm
Purchased by the Tate Americas Foundation, courtesy of the North American Acquisitions Committee with assistance from Bob Rennie 2018
On long term loan

Display caption

American painter Marshall depicts a fictitious scene set at London Bridge in Lake Havasu, Arizona. Originally spanning the River Thames, in 1967 the bridge was rebuilt in America. In the centre of the painting, a man wears a sandwich board advertising a restaurant called Olaudah’s. Olaudah Equiano, born in West Africa around 1745 and sold into slavery, bought his freedom in 1767. He moved to London, where he became a prominent figure in the abolitionist movement. The two stories of displacement connect to financial opportunity: Equiano became a successful businessman, and Lake Havasu is now a tourist destination.

Gallery label, September 2018

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