The World Stage: Africa-France

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Prince Charles Louis, Elector Palatine, and his Brother, Prince Rupert of the Palatinate , 2012 Oil On Canvas 60 X 72 In © Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Daniel Templon
The World Stage: Africa-France

30, rue Beaubourg
75003 Paris
October 27th, 2012 - December 24th, 2012
Opening: October 27th, 2012 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Other (outside main areas)
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Mon-Sat 10-7


Galerie Daniel Templon is presenting the first solo show in France by painter Kehinde Wiley, renowned in the United States as one of the most promising artists of his generation. To mark this event, Wiley has devised a new project, taking him from Morocco to Cameroon on an unexpected journey across the African continent.

Kehinde Wiley has been criss-crossing the world since 2006 as part of his The World Stage project, organizing his ad-hoc castings from the favelas of Rio to the streets of New Dehli. He uses his chance meetings with young urban black and brown men to create baroque portraits brimming over with adornments and references to the Old Masters.

Kehinde Wiley sees himself a contemporary descendent of a long line of portraitists, from Titian to Gainsborough and Van Dyck to Ingres. He offers reinterpretations of the traditional vocabulary of power and prestige in the hyperbolic settings he creates for his charismatic “boys.”
For this Paris exhibition, Wiley set off to seek out African cultures and the colonial history of France as he explored Morocco, Tunisia, Gabon, Congo and Cameroon.

Delving into issues of racial and sexual identity, Kehinde Wiley’s works create unexpected collisions where art history and street culture come face to face. The artist makes eroticised heroes of the ‘invisible’, those traditionally banished from representations of power. His work is ambiguous, part politically-charged critique, part an avowed fascination with the luxury and bombast of Western symbols of male domination.

Born in 1977, Kehinde Wiley works between New York and Beijing. A virtuoso painter who grew up in the urban decay of South Los Angeles and graduated from Yale, he is often described as a “walking superlative“. He became known for his solo exhibitions in institutions and galleries, from Deitch Projects to the Brooklyn Museum, as well as his surprising collaborations, such as his portraits of Grandmaster Flash and Michael Jackson and his design of an Africa lifestyle collection for Puma.

Over recent years, Kehinde Wiley has exhibited at the Colombus Museum of Art in 2006, Harlem Studio Museum in 2008 and Fort Worth Modern Art Museum in 2008. He presented The World Stage: Israel at New York’s Jewish Museum in spring 2012. In 2014, the artist’s work will be on display at a solo exhibition at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art.
His paintings are included in a wide range of public collections, including at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (New York), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Hammer Museum and LACMA (Los Angeles) and Walker Art Center (Minneapolis).

A major monograph of his work was published by Rizzoli in May 2012. A catalogue will be published to mark his exhibition at Galerie Templon, available at the gallery.


La Galerie Daniel Templon présente la première exposition personnelle en Europe du peintre Kehinde Wiley, célébré aux Etats-Unis comme l’un des artistes les plus prometteurs de sa génération. A cette occasion, l’artiste a conçu un projet inédit qui le mène du Maroc au Cameroun en un incroyable périple à travers le continent africain.

Depuis 2006, dans le cadre de son projet The World Stage, Kehinde Wiley sillonne le monde, des favelas de Rio aux faubourgs de New Dehli, pour organiser des castings sauvages. De ses rencontres impromptues avec ces jeunes noirs ou métisses naissent des portraits saturés d’ornementations et de références à la grande peinture classique.

Pour son exposition parisienne, l’artiste est parti sur les traces des cultures africaines et de l’histoire coloniale française en Afrique (1880-1960) en explorant le Maroc, la Tunisie, le Gabon, le Congo et le Cameroun.

Kehinde Wiley se veut l’héritier de la longue lignée de portraitistes qui inclut Titien et Gainsborough en passant par Van Dyck et Ingres. Il réinterprète le vocabulaire traditionnel de la puissance et du prestige dans la mise en scène hyperbolique de ses “boys” charismatiques.