Gagosian and NXTHVN
Three New Programming and Funding Initiatives
Gagosian is pleased to announce three new initiatives in conjunction with its support of NXTHVN in New Haven, Connecticut. First, the gallery will endow the paid NXTHVN Apprenticeship Program for students from local high schools. Second, it will launch a professional development program for NXTHVN Fellows, adding to the organization’s existing education projects through discussions and studio visits with Gagosian staff. Finally, it will offer sales support to Pleading Freedom, an exhibition at the NXTHVN Gallery to raise funds for work toward racial justice.
NXTHVN is a new national arts model established by Titus Kaphar with cofounder and chairman of the board Jason Price and cofounder Jonathan Brand, which empowers artists and curators of color through education and access, mentorship and collaboration. NXTHVN connects high school students, early-career artists, and creative professionals with resources and networks vital to their success.
Left to right: Titus Kaphar, Nico Wheadon, and 2020–21 NXTHVN Fellows, New Haven, Connecticut. Photo: John Dennis, courtesy NXTHVN
The June 15, 2020, issue of Time features Titus Kaphar’s Analogous Colors (2020) on its cover, as well as a written piece by the artist to accompany the work, titled “I cannot sell you this painting.” The painting depicts a Black mother holding her child, represented by an empty silhouette. “In her expression, I see the Black mothers who are unseen, and rendered helpless in this fury against their babies,” writes Kaphar.
The iconic red border of the cover includes the names of thirty-five Black men and women “whose deaths, in many cases by police, were the result of systemic racism and helped fuel the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement,” writes D. W. Pine, Time’s creative director. “Their names are merely a fraction of the many more who have lost their lives because of the racist violence that has been part of this nation from its start.”
The cover is available for purchase on the Time Cover Store. The proceeds from sales will benefit Black-led organizations that are committed to advancing justice.
Cover of June 15, 2020, issue of Time, featuring Analogous Colors (2020) by Titus Kaphar. Artwork © Titus Kaphar
In this video produced on the occasion of his 2018 MacArthur “genius” grant, Titus Kaphar speaks about the recurring themes in his work, his use of layering techniques, and the presence of multiple narratives. He also introduces NXTHVN, which he founded with Jason Price and Jonathan Brand in 2015. The nonprofit arts hub, located in the Dixwell neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut, offers fellowships, residencies, and other professional development opportunities to artists, curators, and students.
Still from “Titus Kaphar: 2018 MacArthur Fellow”
Impressions of Liberty
Titus Kaphar’s public sculpture Impressions of Liberty (2017) was commissioned by the Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey, in conjunction with the Princeton & Slavery Project. Kaphar’s work responds to archival records unearthed by the project, documenting an auction of six African American slaves as part of the estate of Samuel Finley, fifth president of Princeton University. Featuring portraits of an African American man, woman, and child etched in glass, framing a monumental bust of Finley carved into wood as a sculptural absence, the sculpture raises questions about who is remembered and who is invisible in our accounts of history, both written and visual. Impressions of Liberty was installed at Maclean House in Princeton, New Jersey, from November 6 to December 18, 2017.
Titus Kaphar, Impressions of Liberty, 2017, installation view, Maclean House, Princeton University, New Jersey © Titus Kaphar. Photo: Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey
2018 MacArthur Fellow
Titus Kaphar was selected as a 2018 MacArthur Fellow. Each year the MacArthur Foundation awards fellowships—better known as “genius” grants—to individuals from diverse fields who are solving long-standing scientific and mathematical problems, pushing art forms into new and emerging territories, and addressing the urgent needs of under-resourced communities. Kaphar was recognized for his work highlighting the lack of representation of people of color in the canon of Western art with paintings that deconstruct the literal and visual structure of the artwork.
Titus Kaphar. Photo: Sasha Arutyunova
Gagosian is pleased to announce the representation of Titus Kaphar. A painter, sculptor, and filmmaker whose work addresses salient social and political concerns, Kaphar employs deconstructive techniques such as cutting, shredding, charring, and erasing, combining them with reconstructive acts such as stitching and binding to reexamine visual representation in Western art. Wielding the pictorial strategies of European classicists such as Diego Velázquez and Théodore Géricault in order to probe contested histories and colonialist legacies, he rewrites them into narratives of cultural empowerment. In his latest series of paintings, From a Tropical Space (2019–), Kaphar creates surreal, emotionally intense landscapes that are firmly rooted in the present. In conjunction with Kaphar’s representation by Gagosian, the gallery is also supporting NXTHVN (Next Haven), a nonprofit arts hub that the artist founded with Jason Price and Jonathan Brand in 2015 in the Dixwell neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut.
Titus Kaphar. Photo: Sasha Arutyunova