“Titus Kaphar: Misremembered” to open Sept. 22 at UAB’s AEIVA

Kaphar appropriates different styles and techniques from past periods of art history to create reconstructive historical narratives that address issues of race throughout history. He will speak about his work at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, followed by a free reception.

titus 2017Titus Kaphar (b. 1976). "Unfit Frame," 2016. Oil on canvas with gilded antique frame, books, broom, and platform, 94.5 inches x 39 inches x 24 inches. Collection of the Art Fund, Inc. at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Purchased with funds provided by the Collectors Circle of Contemporary Art.Selected works from artist Titus Kaphar will be on display at the University of Alabama at Birmingham from Sept. 22-Dec. 9.

Two major series of works, many of which have never been exhibited in the South, will be featured in “Titus Kaphar: Misremembered.” Also featured, and marking its Birmingham debut, is “Unfit Frame,” a mixed-media painting recently acquired by the Birmingham Museum of Art for its permanent collection.

The exhibition is presented by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts

An opening reception for “Misremembered” is planned for 6-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, in the AEIVA. Kaphar will speak at 5 p.m. prior to the reception about his work. The events are free and open to the public. AEIVA is open to the public 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 12-6 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Sundays and holidays.

Kaphar appropriates different styles and techniques from past periods of art history to create reconstructive historical narratives that address issues of race throughout history. The artist painstakingly recreates existing historical paintings by hand, and then alters them through cutting, stitching, crumpling and reassembling, says AEIVA curator John Fields.

“Kaphar is revealing new historical narratives that blur fact and fiction while creating new historical contexts, which we can use to address contemporary issues of racial injustice,” Fields said. “His work presents us with an entirely new way to look at and talk about art history. He is easily one of the most significant artists of his generation.”

titus streamTitus Kaphar (b. 2016). "The Vesper Project," 2012 (detail). Mixed media. Dimensions variable. Burger Collection, Hong Kong.The first half of “Misremembered” is Kaphar’s ambitious multimedia installation “The Vesper Project,” a life-sized, two-room, dilapidated house constructed inside AEIVA’s main gallery. Littered with debris and ravaged by neglect and vandalism, “The Vesper Project” reveals the complex fictional history of the Vespers, an African-American family passing for white in 19th century New England. Inspired by childhood memories of his aunt that turned out to be false, Kaphar’s installation acts as a deeply personal metaphor exploring how people, both as individuals and larger cultures, construct our own memories and history.

“Misremembered” also pulls from Kaphar’s “Destiny” series, which presents painted composite portraits of women who share the given name Destiny and are currently serving time in the criminal justice system. These works explore the underlying racial issues found in the prison-industrial complex and seek to humanize those lost to this system whether guilty or innocent.

Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Kaphar lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut. Kaphar received a BFA from San Jose University, and an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2006. His works have been exhibited extensively nationally and internationally, and featured in publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Artforum and Time magazine, where his painting of the Ferguson protesters earned him a spot on the short list for Time Person of the Year. His works reside in numerous public collections including The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the National Gallery of Victoria Australia and the Birmingham Museum of Art. This year, he was selected as an official 2017 TED presenter. For more information on his work visit kapharstudio.com.

  • September 22