OKCMOA is proud to present Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic on view summer 2017.
Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic presents an overview of the artist’s career. The exhibition highlights the range of Wiley’s production, starting with examples of early paintings executed around the time of his 2001 residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem. These figurative canvases of African-American men, inspired by Wiley’s observation of street life in Harlem, mark the beginning of his focused exploration of the male figure.
In subsequent bodies of work, the artist took figuration a step further to examine the European tradition of portraiture. Appropriating the format of specific paintings by renowned masters such as Titian, Van Dyke, Ingres, and Manet, Wiley began the practice of replacing historical subjects with contemporary young African-American men sporting fashionable urban gear: puffy down jackets, sneakers, hoodies, jerseys, and baseball caps. Juxtaposed with ornate decorative backgrounds, the stylized likeness and grounds became part of Wiley’s signature style.
The exhibition will also include a selection from his ongoing World Stage project, which he initiated in 2006 by establishing a satellite studio in Beijing, China. In addition, the exhibition will include portrait busts, stained glass, as well as female portraiture from Wiley’s recent series An Economy of Grace.
Born in Los Angeles in 1977, Wiley received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute (1999) and his MFA from Yale University (2001). Wiley’s work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Denver Art Museum; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the High Museum, Atlanta; the Columbus Museum of Art; the Phoenix Art Museum; the Milwaukee Art Museum; the Jewish Museum, New York; and the Brooklyn Museum.
Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic is organized by the Brooklyn Museum. Oklahoma City will be the final stop on the tour that has included Texas, Washington, Virginia, Arizona, and Ohio.
Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Colonel Platoff on His Charger, 2007–8. Oil on canvas, 122 x 122 in. (309.9 x 309.9 cm). Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Gift of the Director’s Council and Museum purchase, 2008. © Kehinde Wiley