February 17, 2011 - April 2, 2011

Friedman Benda, New York, NY

Friedman Benda is pleased to announce representation of American artist Titus Kaphar.

Kaphar’s debut at the gallery, entitled Classical Disruption, will open on February 17 and continue through April 2, 2011. It is the artist’s first major exhibition since his solo show at the Seattle Art Museum in 2009 where he was awarded the inaugural Gwendolyn Knight and Jacob Lawrence prize.

The exhibition, Classical Disruption is the artist’s first solo show in New York and comprises paintings, sculptures and works on paper painted with tar. Kaphar’s works create a dynamic dialogue with the historical past, using all manner of art historical languages, styles and media to call into question the way history and visual meaning is represented.

Kaphar’s paintings are performative; the artist cuts, slices, sculpts and re-orders his original painted images. In Without Site (2010), Kaphar wraps and masks an unidentified figure from a classical hunting scene with swaths of sewn canvas and paint. As he builds his works from layer upon layer of fact and fiction, he reveals how the dominant cannon of historical representation can be an exclusionary and illusory mode of communication. His sculptures, too, traditionally cast in wax and bronze, question the ways in which “classical” language can be used to create a historical reality from the shadows of an imaginary past.

Kaphar’s powerful and tactile works are deeply personal, and derive their energy from treating image making as a reparative act – one where painting still has the ability to posit images of power, beauty and meaning.

A full color catalogue with essays by Bridget R. Cooks, PhD. and Ishmael Vespers will accompany the exhibition.



Titus Kaphar was born in Kalamazoo, MI in 1976 and lives and works in New Haven, CT.

Kaphar graduated with an MFA from Yale University in 2006 and his work has been exhibited in numerous museum and gallery exhibitions including “History in the Making” at the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA, “Reconstruction” at Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA, “Your Gold Teeth II” at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY, “My Love Is a 187” at The Luggage Store, San Francisco, CA and “Painting Undone” at Savannah College of Art & Design, Savannah, GA. He has received numerous honors and awards including an Artist in Residence at The Studio Museum In Harlem (2006), Belle Arts Foundation (2004), and Californian Arts Council (2001).

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