These Blues


Acrylic on canvas

170.3 × 150.4 cm (67 1/16 × 59 3/16 in.)

In the centre of the painting, an indefinite male figure, painted entirely in variations of blue, is playing—or about to play—the harmonica alongside two yellow cats, one of which is already out of frame, since all that remains on the canvas is its elusive tail. The title These Blues evokes the musical genre of the blues that emerged from the work songs of the racially segregated African-American population in the United States. It also refers to the painting of the Nabis.

A deeply committed artist, Kerry James Marshall has always aimed to change society's perception and to inscribe the Black American experience in the history of art and society. He often refers to his work as an effort “to combat the lasting, damaging impacts of underrepresentation.”

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