Kehinde Wiley "Blue Boy" Unveiled
|Kehinde Wiley, A Portrait of a Young Gentleman, 2021. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens|
The Huntington has put on view Kehinde Wiley's take on Blue Boy. Titled A Portrait of a Young Gentleman, it's being shown opposite Gainsborough's painting in the Thornton Portrait Gallery. The installation runs through Jan. 3, 2022.
The Wiley becomes the only major 21st-century painting in the Huntington collection. The most recent American works (by Robert Rauschenberg and Sam Francis) were made more than 40 years earlier.
MOCA has had a Wiley painting since 2012 (as far as I know, it's never been displayed). Wiley's portrait of Barack Obama, along with Amy Sherald's Michelle, come to LACMA this November.
Huntington press release here.
|Thomas Gainsborough, The Blue Boy, about 1770. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens|
|Detail of background, A Portrait of a Young Gentleman|
He and Kaphar exploit (hack) art history in similar ways.
Curiously, both went to the Yale Art School (5 years apart).
Kaphar has more game.
I visited the place daily all last week...my first visit [Europe a no-go].
Not a deep or particularly wide collection, but little that is not a "10".
BTW, see the Gardner's Titian poesie show....SUBLIME, although the permanent Gardner collection reminds me of an old Spanish church in the 70s, when you needed peseta coins to turn on the lights. Gardner offers no such option.
Some museums have no business caring for a fine collection. SAD.
It's signature style. Read Ad Reinhardt, Mondrian, Pollack, Rothko, et al.
Art isn't original. Picasso said all art is derivative.
Can't really compare his practice to that of Reinhardt, Rothko, Mondrian, or even Pollack because none of them started out painting in the style that made them remarkable. For example, Mondrian started out painting trees in a Cubist manner.
There's no evolution or leap forward here. Wiley's paintings have more or less always looked like this.
See here: https://kehindewiley.com/works/
It is still early days. If Wiley "started out" this good, the future promises great things, in my opinion.