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It’s a provocative juxtaposition that raises a question about the relationship between the two subjects. Titled “Beyond the Myth of Benevolence” (2014), the painting by Titus Kaphar was inspired by a Rembrandt Peale portrait of Jefferson made in 1800.

— Hanging half loose from its stretcher, a portrait of Thomas Jefferson reveals an image of a black woman behind it.

Profiled Series: KEN GONZALES-DAY, “George Washington by Augustus Lenci, copy after Jean-Antoine Houdon, plaster, c.

1843, National Portrait Gallery,” 2014/printed 2017 (chromogenic print).

The exhibition consists of two solo shows presented in parallel.

Ken Gonzales-Day collaborated with Caragol and Naeem worked with Kaphar.

The rest of his face is obscured because the canvas has been inched up to reveal a seated black female figure.

A red blanket falls around her hips and she appears to have raised the canvas by pulling a red string, an act of agency lifting the veil on their connection. The museum is marking its 50th anniversary this year with a series of special exhibitions and events examining the history of American portraiture and the challenges of representation.

He rips the canvases from their frames, rolls them up, cuts them or white washes them with strokes of white paint, in order to surface suppressed histories, reckon with the nation’s racial past, and undo certain biographies and expose their multifaceted nature.

The artist’s depictions of prominent white men in U. history explore their relationships and complex interactions with African Americans and Native Americans.

KAPHAR’S PAINTINGS ARE ON VIEW in “Un Seen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Dayand Titus Kaphar,” a new exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. “Un Seen” examines the absence of African Americans, Latino Americans, and Native Americans in historical portraiture and weighs how their invisibility has influenced our understanding of U. Unveiling the portraits of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in February was a major part of the programming.

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