Overview

I cannot sell you this painting.

Titus Kaphar's work examines the history of representation.

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That's the nature of representation; every time we represent something we alter it and slightly change it. And so with that as my foundation, understanding that it's always fictional to some degree, I give myself a certain freedom to really explore and ask myself questions. What might not have been understood at that time? What might have been hidden at that time? What narrative in this particular image wasn't the primary image, but is really important? That is really interesting to me, and then I try to tease that out as much as I can.

Titus Kaphar is an artist whose paintings, sculptures, and installations examine the history of representation by transforming its styles and mediums with formal innovations to emphasize the physicality and dimensionality of the canvas and materials themselves. His practice seeks to dislodge history from its status as the “past” in order to unearth its contemporary relevance. He cuts, crumples, shrouds, shreds, stitches, tars, twists, binds, erases, breaks, tears, and turns the paintings and sculptures he creates, reconfiguring them into works that reveal unspoken truths about the nature of history. Open areas become active absences; walls enter into the portraits; stretcher bars...
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