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Kehinde Wiley: Shantavia Beale II

Kehinde Wiley (American, born 1977). Shantavia Beale II, 2012. Oil on canvas, 60 × 48 in. (152.4 × 121.9 cm). Collection of Ana and Lenny Gravier, courtesy Sean Kelly, New York. © Kehinde Wiley. (Photo: Jason Wyche)

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Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic presents an overview of the artist’s rich and prolific fourteen-year career. The exhibition highlights the range of his production, starting with examples of early paintings executed around the time of his 2001 residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Wiley’s signature portraits of everyday men and women riff on specific paintings by Old Masters, replacing the European aristocrats depicted in those paintings with contemporary black subjects, drawing attention to the absence of African Americans from historical and cultural narratives.

Appropriating the format of specific paintings by renowned masters such as Titian, van Dyck, Ingres, and Manet, Wiley often depicts his subjects wearing sneakers, hoodies, jerseys, baseball caps, and other gear associated with hip-hop culture. Juxtaposed with ornate decorative backgrounds, the stylized likeness and grounds become part of Wiley’s signature style.

The exhibition also includes a selection from his ongoing World Stage project, which he initiated in 2006 by establishing a satellite studio in Beijing; the Down series (2008); several bronze portrait busts, including the Brooklyn Museum’s Houdon Paul-Louis (2011); and new stained glass “paintings.”

Born in Los Angles in 1977, Wiley received his B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute (1999) and his M.F.A. from Yale University (2001). In 2004, the Brooklyn Museum presented his first one-person museum exhibition Passing/Posing: Paintings by Kehinde Wiley.

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic is organized by Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art, Brooklyn Museum. A fully illustrated catalogue published by the Brooklyn Museum and DelMonico Books • Prestel accompanies the exhibition.

Tour Schedule with Dates

Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma

June 16–September 10, 2017

Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio

February 10–May 14, 2017

Phoenix Museum of Art , Arizona

October 7, 2016–January 8, 2017

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia

June 11–September 5, 2016

Seattle Art Museum, Washington

February 11–May 8, 2016

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas

September 20, 2015–January 10, 2016

Brooklyn Museum, New York

February 20–May 24, 2015