New York, 513 West 20th Street
In the heart of Titus Kaphar’s ambitious body of work lies remembrance of the past, it may seem at first sight. However, the Yale graduate’s core interest is to dissect the methods that constitute collective memories. The dominant narration of historical facts and inherent erasure of minor histories are embodied in Kaphar’s visceral and fervent practice which exposes paintings to various interventions. Similar to a historian re-writing the past, Kaphar readjusts dictated narratives on glory, patriotism, and race.
In his two-gallery exhibition concurrently occupying Jack Shainman Gallery’s Chelsea locations, Kaphar employs found imagery from various sources to scrutinize prevalent modes of representation and documentation of history. From Youtube stills to mug shots, images that seem equally familiar and foreign merge into complex visual narratives. Shredded and torn apart, paintings of historical figures that are now barely detectable accompany mug shot paintings of anonymous figures. “In my work I explore the materiality of reconstructive history. I paint and I sculpt, often borrowing from the historical canon, and then alter the work in some way. I cut, crumple, shroud, shred, stitch, tar, twist, bind, erase, break, tear, and turn the paintings and sculptures I create, reconfiguring them into works that nod to hidden narratives and begin to reveal unspoken truths about the nature of history,” describes Kaphar his practice in his own words.
On view through January 28, 2017