for November, 2015
Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic
at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Sep 20, 2015 – Jan 10, 2016
His work can be seen in the TV Show Empire as well as over 40 museums, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Seattle Art Museum; Brooklyn Museum; and Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Kehinde Wiley was born in Los Angeles, earning a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 1999 and an MFA from Yale University in 2001.
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, an overview highlighting the range of the artist’s prolific 14-year career and comprising approximately 60 works. The exhibition begins with early examples of paintings inspired by Wiley’s observations of street life in Harlem. In subsequent work, Wiley further examines the European tradition of portraiture, taking specific paintings by renowned masters such as Titian, Van Dyck, and Manet and replacing the historical subjects with contemporary, young black men sporting fashionable urban gear. These likenesses are set against ornate, decorative backgrounds on large canvases — part of Wiley’s signature style — in order to raise issues of class in addition to race and gender. A New Republic also includes a selection from the artist’s ongoing World Stage project, examples of his bronze busts, and a chapel-like structure that showcases his new stained-glass “paintings.”