On Contemporary Art and the #BlackLivesMatter Movement

April 6, 2015 7:54 PM

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While visiting Titus Kaphar's exhibition Asphalt and Chalk at Jack Shainman Gallery in Chelsea, New York in early February, I was struck by the power, simplicity and deceptive ordinariness of two small panels, a diptych, near the entrance. On one panel a raised clenched fist, realistically rendered, has been all but obliterated by what appear to be rapidly applied expressionist strokes of white paint; on the other an open palm has been given a similar whiteout treatment.

Both hands are black, and written in white paint at the bottom-right of the respective panels are the numbers "68" and "14." This piece, painted last year, is cryptically titled 1968/2014. The exhibition features other larger paintings, such as Another Fight For Remembrance (2014), showing crowded s...

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