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Phoenix Art Museum Presents World Premier of New Series by Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley: Memling debuts February 20, 2013 in Phoenix, Arizona

PHOENIX, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Phoenix Art Museum presents the world premier of a new series of paintings by acclaimed artist Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). The exhibition, Kehinde Wiley: Memling, features eight never-before-exhibited paintings by Wiley, all portraits based on works by 15th-century Flemish master, Hans Memling. The new works are a significant departure from the large-scale, brilliantly-toned works that made Wiley famous. The exhibition, which is organized by Sara Cochran, Ph.D., curator of modern and contemporary art at Phoenix Art Museum, is on view through June 23, 2013, and includes a catalog of works.

"It is a tremendous honor to Phoenix Art Museum to be the museum selected by Kehinde Wiley to premier his new series of works," said James K. Ballinger, the Museum's Sybil Harrington Director. "The Museum is proud to exhibit the work of living artists who are making a profound impact on art today."

As a master of the unexpected, Wiley's Memling series shifts from his previous, large scale works to more simplified and intimate portraits. Wiley borrows from the framework of Memling's portraiture, which, like the work of Wiley today, was revolutionary and innovative in its own time. During the Northern Renaissance in the mid-15th century, Memling pioneered new techniques in oil painting and new approaches to portraits, which had a lasting effect on art. Memling's subjects were depicted in front of windows, featuring the lush, verdant landscape of Flanders, a realism that brought the works to life.

In addition to the composition of these works, Wiley's new series also appears on wood instead of canvas, a first for the artist. The new works are also significantly smaller in size, measuring between 11 x 15" and 15 x 20." These eight paintings, complete with custom designed, hand-fabricated frames, are now powerful in a different way: beckoning us near, demanding a closer perspective. "Despite the intimate size of his new series, they retain their impact and power," Dr. Cochran explains.

Phoenix Art Museum is the largest art museum in the Southwest with more than 17,000 works in its permanent collection. For more information, visit phxart.org.

SOURCE Phoenix Art Museum

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