Kehinde Wiley has been working extensively in his hometown of Los Angeles over the past few years — from a statue commission Crenshaw to curatorial exhibition Jeffrey Deitch. The LA native will be showcasing new work in the next few weeks. A Colorful Life At Roberts Projects La Brea.

For this latest body of work, Wiley was inspired by the nature paintings of Japan’s Edo-period, from artists such as Kitagawa Utamaro, Kiyohara Yukinobu?, and Utagawa KunisadaThey are particularly notable for their use of negative spaces. “So much of my work is about appearance and showing up and being visible,” said Wiley, adding “this dance between exploring the vastness of space within the minimality of this technique I find to be an interesting juxtaposition.”

Created with oil on exposed raw linen, Wiley’s work recontexualizes the genre of landscape by inserting his contemporary Black subjects in a space that they’ve been historically ignored, while highlighting the fragile relationship between humans and nature. “In this new turn, I’m trying to break open the conversation again towards what nature really means in the 21st century, in an era of widespread ecological disasters,” said the artist. “Our relationship with nature is increasingly in a perilous position. It invites a reinterpretation of not only an incredible opportunity to explore the vastness and the beauty of nature, but also the astonishing fragility and sadness that surrounds us, and lost opportunities.”

Colorful Realm Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, will host the event until April 8.

The opposite coast is Hypeart will Launch NOISY REALITY group exhibition in New York City.

Roberts Projects
442 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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