Friedman Benda is pleased to announce representation of American artist Titus
Kaphar’s debut at the gallery, entitled Classical Disruption, will open on February
17 and continue through April 2, 2011. It is the artist’s first major exhibition since
his solo show at the Seattle Art Museum in 2009 where he was awarded the
inaugural Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence prize.
The exhibition, Classical Disruption is the artist’s first solo show in New York and
comprises new paintings, sculptures and works on paper painted with tar.
Kaphar’s works create a dynamic dialogue with the historical past, using all
manner of art historical languages, styles and media to call into question the way
history and visual meaning is represented.
Kaphar’s paintings are performative; the artist cuts, slices, sculpts and re-orders
his original painted images. In Without Site, (2010) Kaphar wraps and masks an
unidentified figure from a classical hunting scene with swaths of sewn canvas
and paint. As he builds his works from layer upon layer of fact and fiction, he
reveals how the dominant cannon of historical representation can be an
exclusionary and illusory mode of communication. His sculptures, too,
traditionally cast in wax and bronze, question the ways in which “classical”
language can be used to create a historical reality from the shadows of an
Kaphar’s powerful and tactile works are deeply personal, and derive their energy
from treating image making as a reparative act – one where painting still has the
ability to posit images of power, beauty and meaning.
A full color catalogue with essays by Michele Carson and Ishmael Vespers will
accompany the exhibition.