Kehinde Wiley’s New Takes on Old Masters Get Brooklyn Museum Survey

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Kehinde Wiley, Judith Beheading Holofernes (2012).
Photo: Benjamin Sutton.
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Installation view of Kehinde Wiley works at the Brooklyn Museum.
Photo: JongHeon Martin Kim. Courtesy the Brooklyn Museum.

The first ever museum survey of Kehinde Wiley‘s vibrant, verdant, Old Master-style portraits of African American women and men is slated to sprout at the Brooklyn Museum early next year, the museum revealed today. The institution, which has Wiley’s take on the epic Jacques-Louis David painting Bonaparte Crossing the Alps at Grand-Saint-Bernard on view in its lobby and a chapel-like alcove on its fourth floor devoted to works from his “Passing/Posing” series, will open “Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic” on February 20, 2015. The show will run through May 24 and is being curated by the museum’s contemporary art curator Eugenie Tsai.

Though the artist is best known for his lush and grandiose portraits, the exhibition will offer an opportunity to become acquainted with other, less well known bodies of work. Among those will be pieces from his “The World Stage” project, showcased at New York’s Jewish Museum in 2012, which applied his signature aesthetic to subjects in China, Israel, Nigeria, and other countries. The show will also feature the artist’s rarely-seen bronze bust sculptures, and a brand new series of works in stained glass.

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Kehinde Wiley, Judith Beheading Holofernes (2012).
Photo: Benjamin Sutton.

“A New Republic” will feature some 60 artworks altogether and will be Wiley’s first major solo show in New York since “An Economy of Grace” at Sean Kelly Gallery, which coincided with the Jewish Museum exhibition in the spring of 2012.


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