Asphalt and Chalk
January 15 – February 21, 2015
513 West 20th Street
New York, NY
Jack Shainman Gallery is pleased to present Titus Kaphar’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. The exhibition will be presented in two parts. A survey of new paintings, Drawing the Blinds, will be installed at the 513 West 20th Street location while an extension of The Jerome Project entitled Asphalt and Chalk will include drawings and paintings at the gallery’s 524 West 24th Street space.
The Jerome Project, a portion of which is also on view at the Studio Museum in Harlem, began in 2011. While researching his father’s prison records, Kaphar came across a startling number of men who shared his father’s full name. Intrigued by the pattern, Kaphar began a series of small portraits of these men based on their mug shots. He then dipped each painting into tar up to at least their mouths, obscuring parts of their faces and affording them the privacy they had lost when their mug shots became part of the public record. In Asphalt and Chalk, Kaphar continues The Jerome Project by drawing composite portraits of multiple Jeromes with chalk on asphalt paper. As he layers the contours and features of each face, one becomes disoriented as each individual begins to bleed into the next. Viewed as groups, both explorations of this series represent a community, specifically of African-American men who are statistically overrepresented in our nation’s prison population and the criminal justice system.
Kaphar received an MFA from the Yale School of Art and is the distinguished recipient of the Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence Fellowship. He has been awarded a 2015 Creative Capital Grant for the Visual Arts. His work has been included in solo and group exhibitions at Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah, GA; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY and the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA. His work is included in the collections of the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT; the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY.
Kaphar’s ambitious installation, The Vesper Project, is on tour through 2016 to venues including the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Arts, Cincinnati, OH; the Katzen Arts Center at American University, Washington, DC; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA and the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT, where it is currently on view.