Kehinde Wiley - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session New York Tuesday, May 14, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Deitch Projects, New York
    Private Collection (acquired from the above in December 2006)
    Phillips, New York, May 10, 2016, lot 260
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Beijing, National Art Museum of China; Shanghai Art Museum, Art in America: 300 Years of Innovation, February 9 - June 30, 2007
    New York, School of Visual Arts, Being American, November 22 - December 21, 2011, pp. 23, 80 (illustrated)

  • Literature

    Jennifer Jankauskas, Greg Tate and Paul Miller (aka DJ Spooky), Kehinde Wiley: The World Stage, China, exh. cat., John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Milwaukee, p. 39 (illustrated, p. 32)

  • Artist Biography

    Kehinde Wiley

    Applying the language and devices of royal portraiture to unnamed archetypes of the Black American experience, Kehinde Wiley bestows the pride and prestige of history painting to groups that it has too often overlooked. Rather than depicting the European aristocracy, Wiley’s portraits d’apparats place African Americans against florid backdrops and atop rearing horses, retaining the pomp and opulence of his historical antecedents and situating Black men and women dressed in everyday clothing as the subjects of art historical aggrandization. Often the accoutrements of urban life lend themselves quite readily to historical genres of portraiture; Air Jordans and Timberland boots can be as appropriate to monarchist might as emerald and ermine. Wiley’s goal is twofold: by subverting outmoded forms of expression through the substitution of the sitter, the artist criticizes the historical neglect of adequate Black representation and glorifies undeservingly maligned representatives of modern American life, what he calls “the ability to create painting and destroy painting at once.”

    Wiley’s work has been the subject of universal acclaim. His work can be found in the collections of major institutions across the world, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford. Wiley was also selected in 2017 to paint the official portrait of President Barack Obama, the first Black artist to be given such an honor. Recently, Wiley founded Black Rock, an artist residency in Dakar, Senegal, bringing an important artistic resource to the African continent.

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Defend and Develop the Island Together

oil on canvas, in artist's frame
106 5/8 x 82 1/2 in. (270.8 x 209.6 cm.)
Painted in 2006.

$120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for $162,500

Contact Specialist
Rebekah Bowling
Head of Day Sale, Afternoon Session
New York
+ 1 212 940 1250
[email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session

New York Auction 15 May | On View at 450 Park Avenue