The Many Dimensions of Mastry
Martin H. Nesbitt reflects on the growth of his artistic and personal relationships.
For me, personally, about the Kerry James Marshall show, which was so meaningful, was that I have had a relationship with Kerry for a long time—my wife and I have had a relationship with Kerry for a long time. And to be involved in the institution in my role as a trustee for 17 years and to watch his career evolve and grow over that same period of time has been remarkable. And to see that manifest itself into a show for Kerry, originated and conceptualized by the MCA, that was of worldwide acclaim, was just a powerful moment—and a powerful sort of juxtaposition of sort of all the degrees and dimensions of my relationship with the MCA into a single moment.
And to walk through that exhibition and see his interpretation of art history, and the African American community's position in that art history—or absence thereof—and think about that as it sort of is juxtaposed against my own engagement and involvement into an institution that I've grown to love, it's just kind of a powerful kind of intersection of events and friendships and relationships and history and everything. And then to go to New York and see that show, and see people rave about it, and then go to LA and see that show, gives you a sense that maybe what I've been doing isn't just about Chicago. Maybe the people I know aren't just having a powerful impact on Chicago, but actually a really powerful impact around the rest of the world. So that's just an awesome culmination of a lot of dynamics that is one of the reasons why I feel so fondly about the MCA.