Yesterday, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art unveiled Visible Means of Support, two new murals by Season 1 artist Kerry James Marshall. Marshall is the first to be commissioned for the museum’s Art in the Atrium program, which regularly invites artists to rework the Haas Atrium space.
Over the course of two weeks, Marshall worked with painters from San Francisco’s Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center, a San Francisco community-based arts organization, to create murals that depict Mount Vernon and Monticello, the respective estates of founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. According to the website, “Although these cherished sites have been depicted countless times before, Marshall’s paintings [are] quite different—playfully incorporating the slaves who supported plantation life. At first glance, a number of optical tricks conceal them from view, but visitors who engage with the works will discover the otherwise invisible figures so often omitted from representations of American history.”
Marshall discusses the project in a cell phone audio guide that is accessible three ways: Call 415-294-3609 and follow the prompts; download the MP3 file; or listen to the image-enhanced podcast. Visible Means of Support will be on view until 2010. No admission fee is required to visit the Haas Atrium.