Reconstruction: 1. An impression, model, or reenactment of a past event formed from the available evidence; 2. The period 1865–77 following the Civil War, during which the states of the Confederacy were controlled by federal government and social legislation; 3. rebuilding.
Titus Kaphar’s Kaphar’s work initiates a contemporary dialogue with history. Present in the work are manifestations of nineteenth-century American portraiture merged with modernist gestures. Meshing historical narratives with his own, Kaphar’s work condenses the activity of decades into single objects. His paintings/sculptures are constructions built from artifacts of art history.Kaphar creates these paintings that he then manipulates using modern and contemporary modes of analysis, deconstruction, and reconstruction, to question the original contexts of the figures and re-present history. By white washing, collaging, crumpling, ripping, cutting, and sewing, Kaphar reconstructs objects from the canon of art history. In some works, paintings are stacked, one on the top of the other. In others, intentionally hidden truths are uncovered by cutting out figures in the canvas and revealing the bare frame beneath.