Contemporary artist Titus Kaphar makes oil-on-canvas copies of European and American portrait paintings from the 18th and 19th centuries and reconfigures them in strategic ways to create a dialogue about race, art and representation. His work is at once beautiful and halting as he dances between fictional narrative and history.
A graduate of Yale University, Kaphar makes work that is a timely display of what he sees as an alternative history. He sees his work as "the first sentence in a longer paragraph that the viewer completes." Engaging history through 18th- to 20th-century European and American paintings by noted figures including Édouard Manet and William Blake, Titus places race and social issues front and center.
Titus Kaphar is the first recipient of the Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellowship.
–Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Adjunct Curator and the Kayla Skinner Deputy Director of Education & Public Programs
This exhibition is organized by the Seattle Art Museum. Support provided by Constance and Norman Rice and contributors to the Annual Fund. Titus Kaphar is the inaugural recipient of the Seattle Art Museumâ€™s Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellowship. Funding for the fellowship is provided by the Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Endowment.
George, George, George, 2008, Titus Kaphar, oil on canvas on wood, 68 x 96 in., Collection of Peggy Scott and David Teplitzky