November 16, 2020

Titus Kaphar at Gagosian

Titus Kaphar's inaugural exhibit at Gagosian Gallery illustrates the profound pain experienced by Black mothers around the fear they'll lose their children
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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. 

Titus Kaphar

The exhibit celebrates Kaphar’s representation by Gagosian Gallery and is his first show with the gallery. 

Titus Kaphar

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. 

Titus Kaphar
“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 Kaphar

Titus’s passion for giving back and the themes within his art come from his own personal experiences growing up. 

Titus Kaphar
“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 Kaphar
“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
Titus Kaphar
“[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
Titus Kaphar
“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
Titus Kaphar
“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
Titus Kaphar

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
Titus Kaphar
“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. 

Titus Kaphar

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
Titus Kaphar
“The art world is full of secrets, Titus is unlocking the vault.” - Vaughn Spann for the New York Times (source

Ted Talks 

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