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Titus Kaphar, Jerome I–V, 2014, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York © Titus Kaphar

On View

Titus Kaphar
The Jerome Project

Through January 16, 2023
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
www.gardnermuseum.org

In 2011, Titus Kaphar was coming to terms with the personal history of his estranged father, Jerome. Kaphar’s search for information led to the discovery of prison records and mug shots of ninety-seven men sharing his father’s first and last name. Painted mostly between 2014 and 2015, The Jerome Project (2014–) is not only a portrait series of incarcerated men named Jerome and their absence from the US national narrative but also a pondering of whose lived experiences we consider, whose we forget, and whose we erase.

Titus Kaphar, Jerome I–V, 2014, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York © Titus Kaphar

Titus Kaphar, My Loss, 2020 © Titus Kaphar

On View

Titus Kaphar in
Metal of Honor: Gold from Simone Martini to Contemporary Art

Through January 16, 2023
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
www.gardnermuseum.org

Using a play on words, Metal of Honor explores how four artists from different times and places use gold as an artistic strategy for innovation and honor. Works by the medieval Italian artist Simone Martini are juxtaposed with those by three contemporary painters—Titus Kaphar, Stacy Lynn Waddell, and Kehinde Wiley. These artists reinterpret the style and medium of devotional imagery to explore the contemporary meaning of representation, commemoration, and adoration.

Titus Kaphar, My Loss, 2020 © Titus Kaphar

Sally Mann, Deep South, Untitled (Emmett Till River Bank), 1998 © Sally Mann

On View

New Symphony of Time

Opened September 7, 2019
Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson
www.msmuseumart.org

New Symphony of Time expands the boundaries of Mississippi’s identity, casting light on a shared past to help reflect an expansive, more inclusive future. The exhibition aims to explore personal and collective memory, history and the connection to place, and the roles artists play in pursuit of civil rights and racial equity through ancestry. Themes include migration, movement, and home; shared humanity; environment; and liberty. Work by Titus Kaphar and Sally Mann is included.

Sally Mann, Deep South, Untitled (Emmett Till River Bank), 1998 © Sally Mann

Titus Kaphar, Billy Lee: Portrait in Tar, 2016 © Titus Kaphar

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Titus Kaphar in
Revolve: Spotlight on the Permanent Collection

March 15–November 13, 2022
Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Jacksonville, Florida
www.cummermuseum.org

Throughout the Cummer Museum of Art’s sixty-year history, its permanent collection has grown from sixty objects to more than five thousand. This exhibition pairs works from the collection with loans from global contemporary artists working across media who explore the concepts of portraiture, landscape, cartography, allegory, and the natural world. Work by Titus Kaphar is included.

Titus Kaphar, Billy Lee: Portrait in Tar, 2016 © Titus Kaphar

Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Uncle Dope, 2017 © Nathaniel Mary Quinn. Photo: Michael Tropea

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Black American Portraits

November 7, 2021–April 17, 2022
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
www.lacma.org

Remembering Two Centuries of Black American Art, guest curated by David Driskell at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1976, and complementing the presentation at lacma of The Obama Portraits by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, Black American Portraits reframes portraiture to center Black American subjects, sitters, and spaces. Spanning more than two centuries from circa 1800 to the present day, this selection of approximately 140 works draws primarily from lacma’s permanent collection and chronicles the ways in which Black Americans have used portraiture to envision themselves in their own eyes. Countering a visual culture that often demonizes Blackness and fetishizes the spectacle of Black pain, these images center love, abundance, family, community, and exuberance. Work by Titus Kaphar and Nathaniel Mary Quinn is included.

Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Uncle Dope, 2017 © Nathaniel Mary Quinn. Photo: Michael Tropea

Taryn Simon, Press XL, from the series Paperwork and the Will of Capital, 2015, Brooklyn Museum, New York © Taryn Simon

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The Slipstream
Reflection, Resilience, and Resistance in the Art of Our Time

May 14, 2021–April 10, 2022
Brooklyn Museum, New York
www.brooklynmuseum.org

The Slipstream draws examples from Brooklyn Museum’s contemporary art collection to contemplate the profound disruption that occurred in 2020. Borrowing its title from an aeronautical term that refers to the pull of the current that is left in the wake of a large and powerful object, the exhibition examines the placement and displacement of power that runs through American history and continues today. The show features more than sixty works by multiple generations of artists from the 1960s to the present day, including Titus Kaphar, Rick Lowe, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, and Taryn Simon.

Taryn Simon, Press XL, from the series Paperwork and the Will of Capital, 2015, Brooklyn Museum, New York © Taryn Simon

Installation view, The Black Index, Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery, Hunter College, City University of New York, February 1–April 3, 2022. Artwork © Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts. Photo: Stan Narten

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Titus Kaphar in
The Black Index

February 1–April 3, 2022
Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery, Hunter College, City University of New York
www.leubsdorfgallery.org

The artists featured in The Black Index build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images. Using drawing, performance, printmaking, sculpture, and digital technology to transform the recorded image, they question our reliance on photography as a privileged source for documentary objectivity and understanding. Their works offer an alternative practice—a Black index—that serves as a finding aid for information about Black subjects, but also challenges viewers’ desire for classification. This exhibition originated at the Contemporary Arts Center Gallery, University of California, IrvineWork by Titus Kaphar is included. 

Installation view, The Black Index, Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Gallery, Hunter College, City University of New York, February 1–April 3, 2022. Artwork © Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts. Photo: Stan Narten

Jennifer Guidi, Seeking Hearts (Black MT, Pink Sand, Pink CS, Pink Ground), 2021 © Jennifer Guidi. Photo: Brica Wilcox

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Artists Inspired by Music
Interscope Reimagined

January 30–February 13, 2022
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
www.lacma.org

To mark the thirtieth anniversary of Interscope Records, the company invited artists to select albums and songs from Interscope’s groundbreaking catalogue and fostered exchanges between artists and musicians to generate resonant pairings. The exhibition, which includes more than fifty works, brings an intergenerational group of visual artists into dialogue with iconic musicians from the last three decades, providing a fresh perspective on influential music for the present moment. Work by John Currin, Jennifer Guidi, Damien Hirst, Titus Kaphar, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Ed Ruscha, and Anna Weyant is included.

Jennifer Guidi, Seeking Hearts (Black MT, Pink Sand, Pink CS, Pink Ground), 2021 © Jennifer Guidi. Photo: Brica Wilcox

Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts, Redaction (San Francisco), 2020 © Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts. Photo: Christopher Gardner

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Titus Kaphar in
The Black Index

September 16–December 11, 2021
Art Galleries at Black Studies, University of Texas at Austin
www.galleriesatut.org

The artists featured in The Black Index build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images. Using drawing, performance, printmaking, sculpture, and digital technology to transform the recorded image, they question our reliance on photography as a privileged source for documentary objectivity and understanding. Their works offer an alternative practice—a Black index—that serves as a finding aid for information about Black subjects, but also challenges viewers’ desire for classification. This exhibition originated at the Contemporary Arts Center Gallery, University of California, Irvine. Work by Titus Kaphar is included. 

Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts, Redaction (San Francisco), 2020 © Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts. Photo: Christopher Gardner

Ellen Gallagher, Untitled, 2000 © Ellen Gallagher

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Icons

May 6–November 14, 2021
Boghossian Foundation, Brussels
www.villaempain.com

From early European and Middle Eastern artifacts to modern and contemporary works, icons have inspired many believers, as well as artists, throughout the ages. This exhibition explores how spiritual dimensions have been incorporated into artworks from antiquity to the present day. Work by Michael Craig-Martin, Ellen Gallagher, Douglas Gordon, Duane Hanson, Titus Kaphar, and Andy Warhol is included.

Ellen Gallagher, Untitled, 2000 © Ellen Gallagher

Titus Kaphar, Redaction (Habeas Corpus), 2020 © Titus Kaphar. Photo: Christopher Gardner

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Titus Kaphar in
The Black Index

May 1–August 14, 2021
Palo Alto Art Center, California
www.theblackindex.art

The artists featured in The Black Index build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images. Using drawing, performance, printmaking, sculpture, and digital technology to transform the recorded image, they question our reliance on photography as a privileged source for documentary objectivity and understanding. Their works offer an alternative practice—a Black index—that serves as a finding aid for information about Black subjects, but also challenges viewers’ desire for classification. Work by Titus Kaphar is included. This exhibition has traveled from the Contemporary Arts Center Gallery, University of California, Irvine.

Titus Kaphar, Redaction (Habeas Corpus), 2020 © Titus Kaphar. Photo: Christopher Gardner

Installation view, The Black Index, Contemporary Arts Center Gallery, University of California, Irvine, January 14–March 20, 2021. Artwork, left to right: © Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts, © Whitfield Lovell, © Alicia Henry. Photo: Paul Salveson, 2021 University Art Gallery, UC Irvine

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Titus Kaphar in
The Black Index

January 14–March 20, 2021
Contemporary Arts Center Gallery, University of California, Irvine
uag.arts.uci.edu

The artists featured in The Black Index build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images. Using drawing, performance, printmaking, sculpture, and digital technology to transform the recorded image, they question our reliance on photography as a privileged source for documentary objectivity and understanding. Their works offer an alternative practice—a Black index—that serves as a finding aid for information about Black subjects, but also challenges viewers’ desire for classification. Work by Titus Kaphar is included.

Installation view, The Black Index, Contemporary Arts Center Gallery, University of California, Irvine, January 14–March 20, 2021. Artwork, left to right: © Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts, © Whitfield Lovell, © Alicia Henry. Photo: Paul Salveson, 2021 University Art Gallery, UC Irvine

Titus Kaphar, Pushing Back the Light, 2012 © Titus Kaphar

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Riffs and Relations
African American Artists and the European Modernist Tradition

February 29, 2020–January 3, 2021
Phillips Collection, Washington, DC
www.phillipscollection.org

This exhibition presents works by African American artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries alongside works by European artists from the early twentieth century. The show aims to examine cross-cultural conversations and presents the divergent works that reflect these complex dialogues. Work by Ellen Gallagher, Titus Kaphar, and Pablo Picasso is included.

Titus Kaphar, Pushing Back the Light, 2012 © Titus Kaphar

Titus Kaphar, Language of the Forgotten, 2018, installation view, MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts © Titus Kaphar. Photo: Jonathan Brand

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Titus Kaphar
Language of the Forgotten

September 11, 2018–March 30, 2020
MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts
massmoca.org

Through cutting, bending, sculpting, and remixing historical paintings and sculptures, Titus Kaphar often shifts the focus of their narratives to create new works that exist between fiction and quotationHis sculpture Language of the Forgotten depicts a monumental bust of Thomas Jefferson, carved as an inversion into wood, his profile immediately recognizable. Framed against this are portraits of figures etched into glass, standing in for the hundreds of thousands of untold narratives about usurped liberty—most famously brought to light in Jefferson’s case through the story of Sally Hemings, an enslaved woman believed to be the mother of his children. The work underscores Kaphar’s interest in history, in particular the question of whose stories get told and which ones get left out. 

Titus Kaphar, Language of the Forgotten, 2018, installation view, MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts © Titus Kaphar. Photo: Jonathan Brand

Titus Kaphar, Forgotten Soldier, 2019 © Titus Kaphar

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Titus Kaphar in
Forgotten Soldier

June 29, 2019–March 22, 2020
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Virginia
www.historyisfun.org

Forgotten Soldier explored personal stories of enslaved and free African Americans on both sides of the American Revolution and their contributions toward establishing an independent nation. Documents, artifacts, and artworks, including a new work by Titus Kaphar, traced the experiences of African American soldiers who took part in the American cause for a free nation or took up arms for British forces in hopes of obtaining their own freedom.

Titus Kaphar, Forgotten Soldier, 2019 © Titus Kaphar

Titus Kaphar, Seeing Through Time 2, 2018 © Titus Kaphar

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Titus Kaphar in
Suffering from Realness

March 31, 2019–February 2, 2020
MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts
massmoca.org

Suffering from Realness explored the politics of representation and the ways in which artists use the body to grasp at and recenter the “aura of realness” in an age of uncertainty. The artists in this exhibition examine the human condition from all sides, creating works in various mediums that are both personal and universal, addressing racism, violence, gender equality, the politicized body of wartime, the anxious body, the complexity of responsibility, and the future. Work by Titus Kaphar was included.

Titus Kaphar, Seeing Through Time 2, 2018 © Titus Kaphar

Installation view, Redaction: A Project by Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts, MoMA PS1, New York, March 31–May 5, 2019. Artwork © Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts. Photo: Matthew Septimus

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Redaction
A Project by Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts

March 31–May 5, 2019
MoMA PS1, New York
www.moma.org

Throughout their careers, Titus Kaphar and memoirist, poet, and attorney Reginald Dwayne Betts have used their varied mediums to confront the abuses of the criminal justice system. Redaction brought together poetry crafted by Betts from redacted legal documents with Kaphar’s etched portraits of incarcerated individuals, blending the voices of poet and artist with those of plaintiffs and prosecutors, reclaiming lost narratives and drawing attention to some of the many individuals whose lives have been impacted by mass incarceration.

Installation view, Redaction: A Project by Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts, MoMA PS1, New York, March 31–May 5, 2019. Artwork © Titus Kaphar and Reginald Dwayne Betts. Photo: Matthew Septimus

Installation view, UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, May 31, 2018–January 6, 2019. Artwork © Titus Kaphar

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UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light
Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar

May 31, 2018–January 6, 2019
National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC
npg.si.edu

This exhibition highlighted the work of two leading contemporary artists who grapple with the under- and misrepresentation of certain minorities in portraiture and American history. Titus Kaphar and Ken Gonzales-Day illuminate the contributions and sacrifices that people of color made during the country’s founding. Together, the work of these two artists demonstrates how the absence of certain figures and communities in art has preempted their recognition in national history, and, in the process, reclaims a space for them in the art historical context.

Installation view, UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, May 31, 2018–January 6, 2019. Artwork © Titus Kaphar