This exhibition consists of four new large-scale paintings. Initially inspired by Holbein's painting The Dead Christ In The Tomb as well as historical paintings and sculptures of fallen warriors and figures in the state of repose, Wiley has created an unsettling series of prone bodies -- some a product of the ravages of war, some contorted into erotic revelry, while others embody the majesty and severity of entombed Saints. Epic in nature, Down, is Wiley's most ambitious series to date.
The Los Angeles-born artist (1977) describes his approach as “interrogating the notion of the master painter, at once critical and complicit.” He makes figurative paintings that “quote historical sources and position young black men within that field of ‘power'.
Wiley’s well-known, stylized paintings of urban African-American male youths started during his residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem. He placed his subjects in poses borrowed from eighteenth-and nineteenth-century European figurative paintings to investigate the ways that portraiture has been used historically to create and enforce power and privilege.
Kehinde Wiley received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1999 and an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2001. His work is represented in the collections of several museums, including the the Walker Art Center, Brooklyn Museum, Denver Art Museum and Virginia Museum of Fine Art. Recently, his work was featured in exhibitions in Belgium, Los Angeles, Chicago and Ohio.
Deitch Projects Web Site
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