Could This Be Love


Acrylic and collage on canvas

220.5 × 244 cm (86 13/16 × 96 1/16 in.)

A woman and man, standing half-dressed in a room, seem to be interrupted in the midst of an erotic disrobing. The viewer witnesses a scene that is both domestic and intimate, in which we do not really know whether the woman at the centre of the composition is removing her T-shirt or putting it on, or whether the man is also getting dressed or touching himself. Around them, an interior unfolds, where a host of objects can be made out—a necklace of white pearls on the floor, lit candles dripping onto the bedside table, a painting above the bed, a sculpture, a book on the floor entitled Your Power as a Woman... These forms, these objects, these words seem to carry as many messages and give as many signs in an ensemble with a rich and complex iconography, which draws on a neo-pop aesthetic. 

The canvas is crossed by musical notes and by the lyrics of a song that give the painting a strong symbolic charge and add a sinuous line that brings the composition together. Without a stretcher, the canvas is equipped with grommets in its black margin.

The human figure is central to the pictorial practice of the African-American artist Kerry James Marshall: he develops a reflection on the Black condition in the United States. He endeavours to give a place and a “physical presence to the women and men who were made invisible for centuries.”

This painting is presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection in the exhibition "Ouverture" at the Bourse de Commerce in 2021.