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Houdon Paul-Louis

Kehinde Wiley

Contemporary Art

Though Kehinde Wiley is best known for his portraits of African American men in contemporary clothes, posed in stances drawn from paintings of the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, here he shifts from painting to sculpture. In both the lift and turn of the young man’s head and the open V of his zippered collar, this bronze references an eighteenth-century marble bust by Jean-Antoine Houdon (see illustration). In substituting male for female, black for white, and present for past, Wiley upends the earlier sculpture even as he quotes it. His interpretation encourages us to acknowledge the limitations and assumptions of representation and provokes a reconsideration of both stereotype and portraiture.
MEDIUM Bronze with polished stone base
DATES 2011
DIMENSIONS 34 x 26 x 19 in. (86.4 x 66 x 48.3 cm) 153 lb. (69.4kg)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Frank L. Babbott Fund and A. Augustus Healy Fund
RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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CAPTION Kehinde Wiley (American, born 1977). Houdon Paul-Louis, 2011. Bronze with polished stone base, 34 x 26 x 19 in. (86.4 x 66 x 48.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund and A. Augustus Healy Fund, 2012.51. © artist or artist's estate
IMAGE front, 2012.51_front_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2014
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
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Houdon Paul-Louis