About the Exhibit - From a Tropical Space
Titus Kaphar’s exhibit, From a Tropical Space, at Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea, is on view from October 1st – December 19th, 2020.
The exhibit celebrates Kaphar’s representation by Gagosian Gallery and is his first show with the gallery.
At first glance, Kaphar’s paintings look like a beautiful suburban family dwelling, but at a closer look, you see the intense message of the exhibit, which is the fear Black mothers have that they’ll lose their children through various systems that have suppressed and tortured minorities in this country for centuries.
“In From a Tropical Space, Kaphar presents a haunting narrative of Black motherhood wherein collective fear and trauma crescendo in the disappearance of children, literalized through the physical excision of their images from the canvases themselves.” (source)
Titus’s passion for giving back and the themes within his art come from his own personal experiences growing up.
“For years he bounced among various family members, at one point living in a basement. At age 15, he left his father’s house for good after witnessing a violent incident in which the older man hit his girlfriend, who struck a mirror. Young Titus picked glass out of the woman’s back — and didn’t speak to his father again for 20 years.” - The New York Times (source)
“Titus’s work elicits a strong response, he works from a place that’s very personal. But he also asks other people to connect their own experiences to it.” Curator Sarah Suzuki (source)
“[Kaphar] has been making paintings and sculptures that confront history head on: how it’s being told visually, and what is wiped from the record. Using various techniques such as cutting, tar dipping, shredding, and crumpling, the artist exposes the troubling histories of our nation’s past, while also unearthing those that have been hitherto forgotten or untold.” - Momus (source)
“A painter, sculptor, filmmaker, and installation artist, Kaphar reexamines American history by deconstructing existing representations and styles through his own formal innovations. His practice seeks to dislodge history from its status as “past” in order to understand its continuing impact on the present.” (source)
“I have this love for representational painting and this love for post-modernist gestures, these actions that disrupt the history of art-making. I think smashing those two things together is how I ended making the things I’m making right now.” - Titus Kaphar for Momus (source)
Video of the Exhibit
To see a walkthrough of the exhibit, see the video below.
About the Artist - Titus Kaphar
Titus Kaphar is an American Artist represented by Gagosian Gallery.
“Titus Kaphar is an American painter whose work reconfigures and regenerates art history to include the African-American subject.” (source)
“If we don’t amend history by making new images and new representations, we are always going to be excluding ourselves.” —Titus Kaphar (source)
Kaphar received his BFA from San Jose State University and his MFA from Yale University.
Kaphar founded NXTHVN (Next Haven), a nonprofit arts hub with Jason Price and Jonathan Brand in 2015 in New Haven, Connecticut
“Nurturing creative talent within and beyond the local community, NXTHVN offers fellowships, residencies, and other professional development opportunities to artists, curators, and students. Housed in two repurposed factory buildings, it maintains exhibition and performance spaces in addition to studio and co-working facilities.” (source)
“The art world is full of secrets, Titus is unlocking the vault.” - Vaughn Spann for the New York Times (source)