Artist Titus Kaphar Is Creating a New Artistic Canon
“I felt horrible,” says artist Titus Kaphar, describing his raw emotional state after one of his paintings appeared on the cover of Time magazine, accompanied by a highly personal text, less than two weeks after the death of George Floyd while in police custody. “I felt so unclothed.” Hundreds of thousands of people had taken to the […]
Parenting While Black: Titus Kaphar’s Starkly Powerful Works
Titus Kaphar’s paintings have always been blunt in confronting both the paucity of Black figures in traditional Western art and the tragic inequities of Black life in the United States. Mr. Kaphar accomplishes this by being a skilled realist painter adept at violating his medium in startling ways to make his points, whether by tearing […]
New York art diary: a miracle on 24th Street
There’s a clear blue sky and a comfortable coolness in the air, as I’m heading down 10th Avenue towards West 24th. I’m making my way to Lehmann Maupin gallery to see the exhibition Wings of Change by one of my favourite artists, Johannesburg- based Billie Zangewa. The show is a collection of seven silk works […]
Flush With New Success
More than a decade ago, artist Titus Kaphar hatched an idea: to create a modest studio space for a small group of artists in New Haven that would offer a nurturing place to experiment outside of the pressure-cooker environment of art school. Today, that seedling vision has blossomed into NXTHVN, a multimillion-dollar non-profit arts hub in […]
Rebel US artist puts black lives in the Renaissance frame
In his painting for the cover of the June edition of Time magazine, published in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, American artist Titus Kaphar portrayed the pain of the grieving African-American mother.
NXTHVN IS A NEW KIND OF SPACE BUILT TO UPLIFT ARTISTS AND CURATORS OF COLOR
During his time as an MFA student, Titus Kaphar recalls skepticism he encountered about his subject matter: “Why are you painting this?” a Yale professor once asked him—“Glenn Ligon and Kara Walker already had this conversation.” Fifteen years later, the exchange reverberates in his vision for NXTHVN (“Next Haven”), the 40,000-square- foot arts incubator he’s created in […]
TITUS KAPHAR, ARTIST OF THE TIMES, PAINTS WITH EYES OPEN
“As soon as I agreed to do the TIME cover, I immediately started to regret it. I didn’t think through how accessible I would feel,” Titus Kaphar confesses while seated on a stool, applying swift, careful strokes to the unfinished crowd in a basketball-related tableau titled Ascension IV on his studio wall. “I did not […]
Gagosian + NXTHVN x 3
Gagosian is supporting NXTHVN with three new initiatives. The gallery will endow the NXTHVN Apprenticeship Program; launch a professional development program for NXTHVN Fellows, featuring roundtable discussions and studio visits with Gagosian staff; and offer sales support to Pleading Freedom, a fundraising exhibition at the NXTHVN Gallery in New Haven.
It’s Not a Side Project, It’s Part of My Practice
When Gagosian director Sam Orlofsky went to New Haven last year to visit the artist Titus Kaphar, the first stop wasn’t the artist’s studio, where he has established a practice of making large-scale paintings that engage with art history—paintings that have landed on the cover of Time magazine and earned him a MacArthur “Genius” grant. The first […]
The Story Behind TIME’s George Floyd Cover
For the June 15, 2020, cover on the protests surrounding the death of George Floyd, we turned to prominent American artist Titus Kaphar. Kaphar’s 60″x60″ oil painting, titled Analogous Colors, features an African-American mother holding her child. To complete the work, Kaphar cut out the canvas to show a mother’s loss: Floyd called out to his deceased mother […]
I Cannot Sell You This Painting
Artist Titus Kaphar painted the portrait that appears on the cover of this week’s TIME. He has written the following piece to accompany the work.
I Have to Make Use of What Is at My Disposal.
‘‘The only real thing that exists in the painting is the absence, the hole. When I stepped back from the painting, I felt as if I wanted to understand the story more. Where have these children gone? What is the story here? The trauma that these women are conveying is one that can exist in […]
See Titus Kaphar’s Paintings About Black Motherhood
Titus Kaphar loves art history, but he takes from the canon what he wants and turns it toward his own ends. The MacArthur-winner (and Ted Talk-er) is subverting these “classical” styles to use them to address the history of slavery and racism. Now represented by Gagosian, Kaphar describes his latest paintings, From a Tropical Space, as a “surrealist, fictional […]
Association of Art Museum Curators Names Recipients of 2019 Awards for Excellence
The Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) and the AAMC Foundation has named the 20 U.S. curators who will be receiving its 2019 Awards for Excellence. This year’s honorees were selected from 150 nominations, and work in a variety of fields, including native and indigenous art, contemporary art, folk art, medieval art, American art, media […]
An Artist Rises, and Brings a Generation With Him
In a struggling neighborhood with a vibrant history, Titus Kaphar found a home for himself. Now he’s creating a center there to nurture emerging artists. NEW HAVEN — Like many town-and-gown cities, New Haven is a community of parallel narratives. There is the storied Elm City of Yale University, a place of carillon bell towers, […]
At Mass MoCA, Titus Kaphar leads us back from the abyss
NORTH ADAMS — Near the bottom of a big industrial stairwell at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, an apparition rises in ghostly defiance, a pale spectre etched on glass. Behind her a dark pit yaws, its contours riven like the topographical map of a deep, unknowable valley. It makes for a jarring encounter, off […]
DECORDOVA AWARDS RAPPAPORT PRIZE TO TITUS KAPHAR
The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, has named Titus Kaphar as the nineteenth recipient of its Rappaport Prize, an annual award of $25,000 that is given to a contemporary artist with “strong connections to New England and a proven record of achievement.”
New Haven artist wins Rappaport Prize
When artist Titus Kaphar left New York City for New Haven, his friends made sure he knew: “ ‘Your career is over,’ ” Kaphar remembers their saying. “ ‘What’re you doing? You’re leaving the mecca! ’”
How to Talk About Whiteness
The Racial Imaginary Institute wants to “make visible that which has been intentionally presented as inevitable,” to disrupt the “bloc” of whiteness.
History unseen: Smithsonian gallery examines overlooked victims of US lynchings
WASHINGTON — The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery acknowledges that people of color have long been missing in the works it exhibits. Now the museum is tackling the issue in an unusual way.
Titus Kaphar and Ken Gonzales-Day Reveal the Fictions in Depictions
Although both artists in Unseen critique omissions in the art historical cannon and offer compelling counter narratives, it is not enough to place their work in neighboring museum galleries and call it a show. WASHINGTON, DC — Titus Kaphar’s art career was born from a bad art history class.
Two Artists in Search of Missing History
A new exhibition makes a powerful statement about the oversights of American history and America’s art history. Sometimes what’s absent from a museum says more about history than what’s included. Two contemporary artists—Titus Kaphar, who is African-American, and Ken Gonzales-Day, who is Mexican-American—have spent their careers addressing this issue.
National Portrait Gallery: Titus Kaphar and Ken Gonzales-Day Explore ‘UnSeen’ Narratives in Historic Portraiture
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Hanging half loose from its stretcher, a portrait of Thomas Jefferson reveals an image of a black woman behind it.
A Contemporary Artist Is Helping Princeton Confront Its Ugly Past
A new sculpture project thoughtfully grapples with the school’s participation in slavery. These days, public sculptures often seem intertwined with historical regret.
Titus Kaphar: ‘My subconscious mind had created a fiction that masqueraded as a memory’
For his current exhibition at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, Titus Kaphar looks to historical portraiture, and imagery from the criminal justice system in his examination of how history is recorded.
‘The Legacy of Lynching,’ at the Brooklyn Museum, Documents Violent Racism
Some exhibitions are as much about life as about art. “The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America,” at the Brooklyn Museum, is a collaboration with the Equal Justice Initiative, founded by the lawyer and MacArthur fellow Bryan Stevenson to target racism in the criminal justice system.
Titus Kaphar on Art, Race and Justice
“A painting may inspire, but it’s people who make change.” The painter Titus Kaphar made his name as a portraitist of criminal justice with his 2014 show at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the “Jerome Project.”
From Classical Paintings To Mugshots: The History Of Documenting Women Of Color
Titus Kaphar’s latest body of work explores images’ ability to validate, celebrate, erase, convict and condemn.
In His New Work, Titus Kaphar Examines Racial Injustice In The Prison-Industrial Complex
Titus Kaphar began thinking about his latest series of paintings, Destiny, when he met a woman named Tina Reynolds, who had given birth to her first son in prison. They were brought together by the Studio Museum in Harlem, along with a group of scholars and other artists, to talk about issues of mass incarceration.
AMENDING AMERICAN HISTORY WITH TITUS KAPHAR
By bringing both recent and distant histories to the fore of his art, Titus Kaphar provides a captivating and informed take on our present reality.
Confronting America’s Shameful Mass Incarceration with Art
On October 25th, marking the anniversary of the opening of America’s first penitentiary, in 1829, a blue van drove to the Manhattan Detention Complex, in Lower Manhattan. The thirty-three-year-old performance artist Lech Szporer was in the back of the van, inside of a steel cage, handcuffed, and wearing an orange jumpsuit.
Galleries: One view of how people of color are portrayed in pre-modern art
A painting of an old sailing vessel, the canvas slipping from the frame and partly edged in tar. A musty, full-size cabin, its rickety walls and floor half-rotted and its rooms scattered with evocative artifacts.
Dismantling History: An Interview with Titus Kaphar
A canvas curtain slips from its place of prestige, revealing another that’s hidden beneath. The folds of a Thomas Jefferson portrait gracefully fall, and behind it we see an African woman bathing; her gaze at once determined, curious and solemn, as if she knows that she’s only just now being seen, but it’s already too late to matter.
Brynn Hatton on Titus Kaphar
CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER, CINCINNATI The story goes that, while looking at a portrait by Titus Kaphar hanging in the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, a man named Benjamin Vesper suffered a sudden psychotic break and attacked the painting.
Raging at Racism, From Streets to Galleries
On Dec. 3, a grand jury declined to indict a white New York City police officer for the chokehold death of an unarmed black Staten Island resident, Eric Garner.
Artist Titus Kaphar on His New Solo Show and Unarmed Black Men in America
“I feel very strongly that most of the history that we have been taught is at best incomplete, and at worse fiction.”
Titus Kaphar Talks Criminal Justice, His TIME Painting, and First Show at Jack Shainman
Titus Kaphar is having a big year. The artist, who splits his time between New York and Connecticut, has his first solo museum exhibition in the New York, titled “The Jerome Project,” currently on view at the Studio Museum in Harlem through March.
Behind Titus Kaphar’s Ferguson Protesters Painting
To capture the impact of the Ferguson protests, Kaphar created a 4-ft by 5-ft oil painting he titled, “Yet Another Fight for Remembrance.” Kaphar, who lives and works in New Haven, Conn., and New York, mixes the work of Classic and Renaissance painters.