Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic

at Oklahoma City Museum of Art

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art presents an overview of the artist Kehinde Wiley’s career including around 60 of his oil paintings, stained glass, and sculpture.

His figurative canvases of African-American men, inspired by Wiley’s observation of street life in Harlem, mark the beginning of his focused exploration of the male figure.

In subsequent bodies of work, the artist took figuration a step further to examine the European tradition of portraiture. Appropriating the format of specific paintings by renowned masters like Manet, Wiley replaced historical subjects with contemporary young African-American men sporting fashionable urban gear: puffy down jackets, sneakers, hoodies, jerseys, and baseball caps. These pieces became part of Wiley’s signature style.

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic is organized by the Brooklyn Museum. Oklahoma City will be the final stop for A New Republic, which will also travel to Texas, Washington, Virginia, Arizona and Ohio.

Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Colonel Platoff on His Charger, 2007–8. Oil on canvas, 122 x 122 in. (309.9 x 309.9 cm). Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Gift of the Director’s Council and Museum purchase, 2008. © Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Mrs. Waldorf Astoria, 2012. Oil on linen, 72 x 60 in. (182.9 x 152.4 cm). Collection of Danny First, Los Angeles, California; courtesy of Sean Kelly, New York, New York. © Kehinde Wiley. (Photo: Jason Wyche)

Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Portrait of A Venetian Ambassador, Aged 59, II, 2006. Oil on canvas. © Kehinde Wiley. Collection of Jeanne and Dan Fauci.

Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Mrs. Siddons, 2012. Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 in. (182.9 x 152.4 cm). Collection of Rita and Herbert Krauss. © Kehinde Wiley. (Photo: Jason Wyche)

Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Support the Rural Population and Serve 500 Million Peasants, 2007. Oil and enamel on canvas, 72 x 60 in. (182.9 x 152.4 cm). Collection of Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, 21c Museum Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky. © Kehinde Wiley. (Photo: Max Yawney, courtesy of Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, California)

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