Rarely has art that explores notions of race been more relevant. The Vesper Project is a compelling and timely exhibition by New York artist Titus Kaphar, whose unforgettable installation does just that. It features ghostly architecture and hauntingly beautifully paintings that question the meaning of “race.” It opens at the Lowe on September 8 and runs through December 23, 2016.
The Vesper Project is the culmination of Titus Kaphar’s intensive engagement with the fictional history of the Vespers, a 19th-century New England family who were able to “pass” as Caucasian despite the fact that their mixed racial heritage made them black in the eyes of the law. The resulting project, which includes the remains of an abandoned Connecticut home into which the artist has incorporated his own work, interrogates notions of race, identity, memory, and social constructs. Through slashing, silhouetting, and whitewashing, Kaphar creates a complex map that compresses time and elides personal histories. The artist’s most ambitious installation to date, The Vesper Project obliterates the distance between viewer and work and is as immersive as it is experiential. The Lowe Art Museum (www.miami.edu/lowe) is located on the campus of the University of Miami at 1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables, Florida. With a permanent collection of 19,000 objects spanning 5,000 years of world culture, the Lowe is committed to serving as a vital resource for education and enrichment through art. Its dynamic permanent and temporary exhibitions establish the Lowe as a keeper of memories, a showcase for masterworks, an igniter of awe and wonder, and a bridge between yesterday and today.
Museum gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. The Museum is closed on Mondays and University holidays. General Admission (not including programs) is $12.50, $8 for senior citizens and non-UM students, and free for Lowe members, UM students, faculty and staff, and children under 12. Admission is free on Donation Day, the first Tuesday of every month. For more information, call 305-284-3535, follow us on Twitter at @loweartmuseum, follow the museum on Facebook.com/loweartmuseum, or visit lowemuseum.org.