OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA.-
"A New Republic" presents over 50 paintings and sculptures spanning the celebrated artist's 14-year career. Organized by the Brooklyn Museum, "A New Republic" has travelled to Texas, Washington, Virginia, Arizona and Ohio.
"I hope visitors to this exhibition will enjoy not only the beauty, color and scale of Mr. Wiley's work but also the discussions that these artworks provoke," said Eugenie Tsai, curator of "A New Republic" and the John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum. "This is an exhibition that needs to be experienced in person and preferably with friends or family members. The artwork opens up a dialogue with the viewer and I think summer visitors to OKCMOA will enjoy the many conversations that arise from this exhibition."
"Kehinde Wiley bridges the gap between contemporary and historical art," added Michael Anderson, Ph.D., OKCMOA
director of curatorial affairs. "His paintings and sculptures reference historical artworks while including modern dress, bright colors and 21st-century subjects. By replacing historical subjects with contemporary African-American men and women, Wiley encourages us to think deeper about representation, gender roles and power in the context of art history. We are honored to host his work here in Oklahoma City."
Visitors can enjoy "A New Republic" on the Museum's first and third floors. "A New Republic" begins in the first floor galleries with Wiley's earliest work, created around 2001 during his residency at the Studio Museum in Harlem. It was around this time that Wiley began his process of "street casting," pulling subjects off the street to pose for photos that he later referenced in his works.
The exhibition continues with Wiley's experimentation in referencing specific paintings by renowned masters such as Titian, Van Dyke, Ingres and Manet. Works such as "Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps," "Portrait of a Venetian Ambassador, Aged 59, II," "Colonel Platoff on his Charger" and "Equestrian Portrait of King Philip II (Michael Jackson)" directly reference paintings of a similar name.
The exhibition resumes in the Museum's third floor galleries with Wiley's "World Stage" series. Beginning in 2006, Wiley opened a satellite studio in Beijing and began street casting international subjects. The "World Stage" series includes subjects from Brazil, China, Israel, France, Haiti, Jamaica, Lagos and Dakar and Sri Lanka.
The final sections of the exhibition include "An Economy of Grace," which features the only female portraiture in the exhibition, as well as Wiley's recent stained glass work.