The World Stage: Africa, Lagos ~
This exhibition is organized by The Studio Museum in Harlem,
New YorkJanuary 15 - May 3, 2009 Artpace 445
North Main AvenueSan Antonio, Texas
The World Stage: Africa, Lagos ~ Dakar, organized by The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, opens this Thursday at Artpace San Antonio. Featuring monumental new paintings by Brooklyn-based artist Kehinde Wiley, the exhibition builds upon Wiley's signature examination of figurative painting, drawing global inspiration from contemporary and postcolonial African art and culture. The second exhibition in Wiley's ongoing "The World Stage" series, the portraits included in The World Stage: Africa, Lagos ~ Dakar were created from the artist's 2007 travels in Nigeria and Senegal. After establishing a satellite studio in the locations, Wiley steeped himself in local culture, history and art, living in the areas for several months at a time. In each painting, contemporary Nigerian and Senegalese men are depicted in poses based on public sculptures that celebrate the nations' independence from colonial rule. Bold backgrounds patterned on the kaftan—traditional attire worn by West African women—envelop the stately male figures in a forest of colorful, complex designs, fusing the imagery of present-day popular culture with historical public art and indigenous patterns. Artpace's Hudson (Show)Room, the site of this presentation of The World Stage, features exhibitions organized by Artpace's curatorial staff, as well as select traveling exhibitions that reflect the organization's international scope and mission. In keeping with Artpace's International Artist-in-Residence program, these exhibitions encourage the development of new bodies of work
and bring exposure to living artists.