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LACMA Explores the Allure of Matter Ocula Report LACMA Explores the Allure of Matter 14 Jun 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China at Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) (2 June 2019–5 January 2020) is an inter-generational show of 21 Chinese artists working from the 1980s to the present, including Ai Weiwei, Cai Guo-Qiang, Lin Tianmiao, Song Dong, He Xiangyu, Yin Xiuzhen, and Ma Qiusha.Staged on Level 2 of LACMA's Renzo...

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Thomas J Price: Reframing Classical Sculpture Ocula Conversation Thomas J Price: Reframing Classical Sculpture

When the London-born artist Thomas J Price graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Chelsea College of Arts in 2004, the school's college art prize was by no means his most notable accomplishment as an emerging artist. In 2001, Price presented his much-talked-about work Licked, a daring performance, later profiled on the BBC 4 television...

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Art Basel Lowdown: Shows to See Ocula Report Art Basel Lowdown: Shows to See 6 Jun 2019 : Tessa Moldan for Ocula

To coincide with Art Basel 2019, which opens to the public from 13 to 16 June, galleries and institutions across the city are presenting a range of stellar exhibitions. From Rebecca Horn at Museum Tinguely to Geumhyung Jeong at Kunsthalle Basel, here is a selection of what to see.William Kentridge, Dead Remus (2014–2016). Charcoal on found ledger...

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Kehinde Wiley

b. 1977, USA

Painting in highly naturalistic modes, Kehinde Wiley is a portraitist in the Western Classical tradition. By inserting contemporary black and brown figures in place of white ones, however, Wiley’s portraits have generated new discourses about the representation of race and gender in art. The artist earned his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1999 and MFA from Yale University in 2001. He is now based in New York.

Wiley began painting his signature portraits in 2001, inviting strangers he encountered on the streets back to his studio. Imitating selected postures from historical paintings, his models posed for photographs that he would use to make his paintings. As a foil to the common association of young African American males with violence and antisocial behaviour in American popular culture, Wiley’s larger-than-life portraits celebrate the sitters’ youth and their place in the world.

Wiley’s revisionist portraits cast new light on the canon of established white aristocrats in the history of Western portraiture. Among the most iconic of his portraits is Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps (2005), based on Jacques-Louis David’s 1803 masterpiece of similar title and the same subject matter. In this equestrian portrait, Wiley replaces the French general and his 19th-century military regalia with an anonymous black man dressed in contemporary cargo pants and boots; the grand Alps are now a decorative background reminiscent of French fabric. By applying qualities historically reserved in Western ideology for white males—such as wealth, power and establishment—to urban contemporary African Americans, Wiley brings attention to the absence of central black figures in the history of Western portraiture.

Since 2007, Wiley has extended his street casting globally. In his ongoing series ‘The World Stage’, the artist continues to paint anonymous individuals—mostly black, but also increasingly brown—from countries as varied as Brazil, China, Haiti, Israel, Nigeria, Senegal and Sri Lanka. He also makes further references to these cultures through his use of decorative textile and wall patterns sourced from, for example, African textile design and Islamic architecture. The bright colours and intricate patterns hark back to the colonial Dutch textile industry in the 19th century and allude to different cultural relationships in the past and the present. 
 
In addition to his growing representation of subjects other than African American men, Wiley has begun to depict women. The series ‘An Economy of Grace’ (2012) consisted solely of females. It was later accompanied by a feature film that documented the process behind the series. Directed by Jeff Dupre and produced by Show of Force, the film was awarded the HBO Audience Award for Best Short Film at the Provincetown Film Festival.

One of the most celebrated painters of his generation, Wiley has exhibited widely in Europe and the USA. In 2015 (20 February–24 May), the Brooklyn Museum hosted a mid-career survey titled A New Republic, which toured to four other museums. At Seattle Art Museum, a record-breaking 2,800 people attended on its opening day. Wiley’s paintings are in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Brooklyn Museum, New York, amongst others.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2017
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Featured Artworks

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Portrait of Kea Teuru by Kehinde Wiley contemporary artwork
Kehinde WileyPortrait of Kea Teuru, 2019 Oil on linen
175 x 144 cm
Templon
Saint Amelie by Kehinde Wiley contemporary artwork
Kehinde WileySaint Amelie, 2014 Painted stained glass mounted on lightbox with aluminium frame
251.2 x 115.4 cm
Templon
Portrait of Quentin Lee Moore by Kehinde Wiley contemporary artwork
Kehinde WileyPortrait of Quentin Lee Moore, 2018 Oil on wood panel
152.4 x 122 cm
Templon
Idrissa Ndiaye by Kehinde Wiley contemporary artwork
Kehinde WileyIdrissa Ndiaye, 2012 Oil on canvas
243.8 x 213.4 cm
Templon
Mary, Comforter of the Afflicted II by Kehinde Wiley contemporary artwork
Kehinde WileyMary, Comforter of the Afflicted II, 2016 Stained glass in aluminium frame
248.4 x 184.5 cm
Templon
Portrait of Kerry James Marshall, La Lectura by Kehinde Wiley contemporary artwork
Kehinde WileyPortrait of Kerry James Marshall, La Lectura, 2017 Oil on canvas
83.02 x 122.02 inches
Sean Kelly

Current & Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Kehinde Wiley, Tahiti at Templon, Paris
Open Now
18 May–20 July 2019 Kehinde Wiley Tahiti Templon, 28 Grenier Saint-Lazare, Paris
Contemporary art exhibition, Kehinde Wiley, Trickster at Sean Kelly, New York
Closed
6 May–17 June 2017 Kehinde Wiley Trickster Sean Kelly, New York

Represented By

In Related Press

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Kehinde Wiley’s Painted Elegies for Ferguson Related Press Kehinde Wiley’s Painted Elegies for Ferguson Hyperallergic : 2 February 2019

ST. LOUIS — 'On any body, to wear a tattoo is an act of change. It is a will being imposed. And perhaps this is why folks everywhere ... have all, in some shape or form, found themselves attracted to the practice: its value is, ultimately, for the holder, not the beholder.'So argues Bryan Washington in his piece on tattoos and the Black body...

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Best of 2018: Our Top 20 Exhibitions Across the United States Related Press Best of 2018: Our Top 20 Exhibitions Across the United States Hyperallergic : 21 December 2018

In 2018, artists and curators across the United States have been crafting brilliant exhibitions across the US, exploring themes of identity and community in innovative ways. Ebony G. Patterson made a maximalist tribute to victims of violence in her home country of Jamaica, while Joel Otterson crafted work recalling his parents' professions as a...

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The art of the beautiful game: football moves off pitch and into the museum Related Press The art of the beautiful game: football moves off pitch and into the museum Wallpaper* : 16 June 2018

Football has many guises. It is a pastime where schoolboys scrape knees in a courtyard; a tear-jerking symbol of national pride; a multi-billion dollar industry with corporate interest.

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Kehinde Wiley unveils debut film in London Related Press Kehinde Wiley unveils debut film in London The Art Newspaper : 23 November 2017

Kehinde Wiley, who has just been tasked with painting Barack Obama's portrait, is known for his paintings of young black men and women in the style of European Old Masters. But last night at the British Film Institute in London, Wiley unveiled his first film, Narrenschiff (Ship of Fools), which looks at migration, madness and colonisation in...

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