Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Kehinde Wiley talks old masters at the High

Posted By on Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Triple Portrait of Charles I , 2007 Oil and enamel on three canvases
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Triple Portrait of Charles I , 2007 Oil and enamel on three canvases

The High Museum's latest exhibition, Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland, opened on October 17 to considerably less fanfare than the recent Dalí exhibition. You might not have even known the exhibition was coming, because, well, an exhibition of Italian Renaissance paintings isn't the sort of thing that you advertise on billboards. If you've been to the Met in New York or the Ringling Museum in Florida or attended "Intro to Art History 101" at any university ever, you're well acquainted with this sort of exhibition. It might be hard to muster up the energy to be excited about it.

It's a safe bet that someone at the High was thinking the same thing when deciding to book Kehinde Wiley to speak on Thursday, October 21, because Wiley is exactly the sort of artist that can get you excited about the old masters. His massive paintings appropriate the figurative style and compositions that artists like Titian are celebrated for while his subjects are often young, stylish, and attractive African American men whose images are more likely to be in a Hype Williams music video than the High Museum. Hearing him talk about Titian and Memling is a legitimately exciting opportunity and, safe to say, not something you already heard in "Intro to Art History 101."

Kehinde Wiley speaks on Thurs., Oct. 21 at 7 pm at Rich Theater. Details at the High.

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