Making Space for Black History: Amending the Landscape of American Art

Titus Kaphar works with history—history writ large, as well as his own story, familial and personal—to offer a stirring portrait of the here and now. As a result, his body of work is diverse, in both form and substance. 

In recognition of his powerful vision, TIME magazine commissioned him to create an artwork in response to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri—freezing in time an unforgettable moment of potential, protest, and civil rights upheaval. In The Jerome Project, he explores the overwhelming volume of men trapped in our criminal justice system bearing his own father’s name. The mug shots of these ‘Jeromes,’ all African-American, are re-imagined as gilded, devotional subjects submerged in tar—signaling how much time they’ve lost in prison as well as a historical form of torture. For Drawing the Blinds, Kaphar cuts, bends, sculpts, and re-mixes the work of Classical and Renaissance painters, creating formal games between fiction and quotation, interrogating the history of aesthetics while revealing marginalized, forgotten figures. And yet in all his work, Kaphar speaks to the most vital discussions happening around race, diversity, and reconciliation in the U.S.

Co-sponsored by Claiming and Williams and The Clark.

Thursday, February 1, 2018 at 2:00pm

The Clark, Auditorium

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