NEW YORK.- The Studio Museum in Harlem is proud to present The World Stage: Africa, Lagos ~ Dakar, our first-ever solo exhibition of the work of Kehinde Wiley, a former artist in residence (200102). The exhibition features ten new paintings from Wileys multinational World Stage series, a global extension of his signature examinations of power and portraiture.
For this ongoing series, Wiley relocates to other countries and opens satellite studios to become familiar with local culture and history and include them in his practice. The paintings in The World Stage: Africa, Lagos ~ Dakar were created during Wileys extended visits to Nigeria and Senegal in 2007, where he found new subjects, inspirations and insights.
Wileys well-known, stylized paintings of urban African-American male youths started during his residency at the Studio Museum. He placed his subjects in poses borrowed from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European figurative paintings to investigate the ways that portraiture has been used historically to create and enforce power and privilege.
For the World Stage series Wiley continues to paint young black men, but uses poses based on regional sources. Paintings from the first World Stage site, China, featured poses from Communist propaganda art, and were shown in an exhibition at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Wisconsin last year. For The World Stage: Africa, Lagos ~ Dakar Wiley turns to public monuments built to celebrate independence and the end of colonialism. Future sites for the series include Brazil and Turkey.
The exhibition will be accompanied by an extensive full-color hardcover catalogue, the second in a series of catalogues about the World Stage series. The catalogue will examine the project from multiple perspectives, and will include essays by scholars Robert Hobbs, Tavia Nyongo and Krista Thompson, as well as a conversation between curator Christine Y. Kim, Wiley and artist/writer/performer Malik Gaines.
Kehinde Wiley (b. 1977, Los Angeles) received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1999 and an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2001. His work is represented in the collections of several museums, including the the Walker Art Center, Brooklyn Museum, Denver Art Museum and Virginia Museum of Fine Art. Recently, his work was featured in exhibitions in Belgium, Los Angeles, Chicago and Ohio.