WHAT: Press preview with the artists for “UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar”
WHEN: Thursday, March 22 / 2 p.m.
WHERE: Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery (Eighth and F streets N.W.)
WHO: Kim Sajet, director, National Portrait Gallery; Taína Caragol, curator of Latino art and history, National Portrait Gallery; Asma Naeem, curator of prints, drawing and media arts, National Portrait Gallery; and artists: Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar
The National Portrait Gallery presents the first contemporary exhibition of the museum’s 50th anniversary season, “UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar,” which examines how people of color are missing in historical portraiture, and how their contributions to the nation’s past were rendered equally invisible. Featuring work by two contemporary artists, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar, the exhibition brings to the forefront African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans and Latino Americans to amend America’s historical narrative. The bilingual (English and Spanish) exhibition will be on view March 23 through Jan. 6, 2019.
In the largest exhibition of his work to date, featuring 17 paintings and one sculpture, Kaphar invites viewers to reflect on the absence of race in traditional representations of America’s history by recreating well-known paintings to include those traditionally left out. Gonzales-Day’s exhibit of nearly 40 photographs explores how ideas of racial difference, otherness and national identity have taken shape historically and visually. On view will be works from the artist’s “Erased Lynchings” series, which grew out of his archival research into lynching in the American West and his “Profiled” series.
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