Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic presents a stunning retrospective of this artist’s prolific career through nearly 60 paintings and sculptures. Kehinde Wiley’s work raises intriguing questions about race, gender, and the politics of representation by portraying contemporary African American men and women using the conventions of traditional European portraiture. Appropriating the format of specific paintings by renowned masters ranging from Titian to Édouard Manet, Wiley often depicts his subjects wearing sneakers, hoodies, and other gear associated with today’s hip-hop culture and sets them against ornate decorative backgrounds that evoke earlier eras and cultures.


By replacing the European aristocrats with contemporary black subjects, Wiley’s portraits draw attention to the absence of African Americans from historical and cultural narratives. Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic is organized by the Brooklyn Museum and curated by Eugenie Tsai, John and Barbara Vogelstein Curator of Contemporary Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, is the coordinating curator at VMFA.

Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps, 2005
Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps, 2005
Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Napoleon Leading the Army over the Alps, 2005. Oil on canvas, 108 x 108 in. (274.3 x 274.3 cm). Collection of Suzi and Andrew B. Cohen. © Kehinde Wiley. (Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum)
Shantavia Beale II, 2012
Shantavia Beale II, 2012
Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Shantavia Beale II, 2012. Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 in. (152.4 x 121.9 cm). Collection of Ana and Lenny Gravier. © Kehinde Wiley. (Photo: Jason Wyche, courtesy of Sean Kelly, New York)
Leviathan Zodiac, 2011
Leviathan Zodiac, 2011
Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Leviathan Zodiac, 2011. Oil and gold enamel on canvas, 95¾ x 71¾ in. (243.2 x 182.2 cm). Collection of Blake Byrne, Los Angeles. Courtesy of Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, California. © Kehinde Wiley. (Photo: Robert Wedemeyer, courtesy of Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, California)
Saint Remi, 2014
Saint Remi, 2014
Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Saint Remi, 2014. Stained glass, 96 x 43½ in. (243.8 x 110.5 cm). Courtesy of Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris. © Kehinde Wiley
Houdon Paul-Louis, 2011
Houdon Paul-Louis, 2011
Kehinde Wiley (American, b. 1977). Houdon Paul-Louis, 2011. Bronze with polished stone base, 34 x 26 x 19 in. (86.4 x 66 x 48.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund and A. Augustus Healy Fund, 2012.51. (Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum)


The list below represents sponsors of Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic as of March 2016. For further information about sponsoring this exhibition or making a gift to the VMFA Exhibition Fund, please contact Jayne Shaw, Director of Development, at 804.340.5529 or


Presented by Altria_CMYK-Converted-300x164_________________

The Julia Louise Reynolds Fund

Ivan Jecklin and Allison Weinstein
Carole and Marcus Weinstein

Norfolk Southern Corporation

Pam and Bill Royall

Mary and Don Shockey


Richmond (VA) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated


The national tour of Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic is made possible
by the Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Free for VMFA members, children 6 and under, and active-duty military personnel and their immediate families.

$12 for adults

$10 for seniors 65+

$10 for adult groups of 10 or more (click here for tickets)

$10 for college students

$10 for youth (7–17) and students with school ID

Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 804.340.1405.

Contact Visitor Services at


Learn more about the twelve pairings that link Wiley’s work to VMFA’s Permanent Collection!

Download the gallery map and trace Wiley’s art historical influences across the globe! 

Chance, Choice and Kehinde Wiley’s 21st Century Portraiture
June 30, 2016 — Catherine Komp

More than 50 works by globally-acclaimed artist Kehinde Wiley are on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The artist has filled museum and collectors’ walls with large-scale paintings that depict people of color in grand and regal ways. Catherine Komp has more for Virginia Currents. Listen to the interview here.



Kehinde Wiley - A New Republic

Filled with reproductions of Kehinde Wiley’s bold, colorful, and monumental work, this book encompasses the artist’s various series of paintings as well as his sculptural work—which boldly explore ideas about race, power, and tradition.


What’s new (and old) in Richmond, Virginia’s trendy capital

In June visitors will see Kehinde Wiley’s “A New Republic,” a collection of portraits that explores themes such as race, gender and politics. Read More…