SF de Young Museum is excited to host an exhibition from the acclaimed artist behind Obama’s presidential portrait, Kehinde Wiley.
The exhibition, titled “Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence” will celebrate its US premiere with a run from March 18 through October 15th, 2023 at SF’s de Young Museum.
During the opening weekend celebration, museum attendance is free. Visitors can also attend a free talk with Wiley on Saturday, March 18th at 1pm.
Some of the sculptures in this collection are some of the largest that the de Young has ever installed in their galleries. The exhibition consists of 25 pieces that range from billboard-sized paintings to smaller, more intimate sculptures.
The series was created against the backdrop of COVID-19, the murder of George Floyd, and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. These works are meant to “underscore the fraught terms in which Black people are rendered visible, especially when at the hands of systemic violence,” according to the de Young Museum.
The grand size and scale of these works on display serve to elevate those depicted to heroic status. Wiley referenced historical paintings of heroes, martyrs, and saints in the creation of this powerful series. Drawing from classical motifs and poses, Wiley depicts Black people struck down, wounded, resting, or dead. The effect is a visually stunning exhibition that inspires a deep meditation on violence against Black people.
“That is the archaeology I am unearthing: the specter of police violence and state control over the bodies of young Black and Brown people all over the world,” stated Wiley.
“Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence” will be on display from March 18 through October 15th, 2023. The de Young Museum is located in SF’s Golden Gate Park.