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Kehinde Wiley

Peintre de l'épopée - Painter of the Epic

ISBN: 9789461616203 (HB - E/ F)

Kehinde Wiley est une icône de la peinture américaine contemporaine. Il porte un regard critique sur l'histoire de l'art en réinterprétant les représentations traditionnelles du pouvoir. L'exposition présentée à La Malmaison propose une sélection d'une trentaine de toiles et de vitraux présentant, pour la première exposition personnelle dans une institution française, le travail de l'artiste phare de l'art contemporain américain. Partant d'un constat sociologique, ses toiles reprennent des peintures d'histoire pour y faire figurer ceux qui y ont été oubliés. Dans ses ouvres Napoléon, les trois Grâces ou encore Sainte Adelaïde ont pour modèles de jeunes afro-américains. En redonnant une visibilité aux minorités, en interrogeant les rapports de pouvoirs et les enjeux sociaux contenus dans les toiles présentes sur les murs des musées du monde, les ouvres de Kehinde Wiley mettent en lumière et questionnent la dimension politique de l'art. Born in Los Angeles to a Yoruba father from Nigeria - who was absent from his youth and whom he will only find in Africa as an adult - and an African-American mother, Kehinde Wiley holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute (1999) and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University (2001); he lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. His style is characterized by the desire to place the black man at the heart of history. Thus, like a DJ who remixes and samples great music classics, Kehinde Wiley takes great classics from the history of art and recomposes them with African-American characters imbued with hip-hop culture. Sensitive from the outset to issues of power and their transposition to the canons of art, he protests against the consequences of the "absence of the black body in paintings" in museum collections and the demotion of blacks to the position of slave or servant. He then embarked on the representation of young African-American men - initially from the neighbourhoods of Brooklyn and Harlem - by depicting them in valorising postures. Invited to the White House by Barack Obama in 2016, he painted his portrait, as he had until then preferred to represent anonymous and modest people. The portrait of former US President Barack Obama is exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., while the portrait of Michelle Obama is in the care of Amy Sherald. In 2019, her exhibition Tahiti opens to the representation of women and transgender people. In May, he takes part in the Black Rocks Senegal festival in Senagal with African artists such as Soly Cissé and Omar Victor Diop, named after the volcanic rocks that litter the beaches of Dakar. He opens an artists' residence luxuriously decorated by African artists and craftsmen. He is represented by the Daniel Templon Gallery in Paris and Brussels.

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