Curated by Titus Kaphar & Steven Matijcio
History painting, excavation and iconoclasm meet in the work of American artist Titus Kaphar as he interrogates the racial skeletons of art history. The Vesper Project is a massive, multi-part installation in which paintings are woven into the walls of a 19th century American house. It is the culmination of a five-year engagement with the lost storylines of the Vespers, a 19th century family who “passed” as a white family in New England even as their mixed heritage made them “Negro” in the eyes of the law. In this project the members of this family and their histories are entwined with Kaphar’s reformulated biography, razing and rebuilding once sturdy foundations of the past.
Titus Kaphar, The Vesper Project [detail], 2013. Image Courtesy of the Artist and Friedman Benda, New York