This exhibition, presented at the remarkable William Morris Gallery from the 22 February to 25 May 2020 in Walthamstow, East London, will be the first solo show of American painter Kehinde Wiley staged by a public institution in the UK. Wiley is probably most famous for his naturalistic and vibrant portrait of Barack Obama.
For over 15 years Wiley has used William Morris’ landmark floral illustrations for his own paintings, mostly as backgrounds for his hyper realistic portraits. This presentation will centre on new female portraits inspired by anonymous women Wiley met on the streets of East London. Building on his interest in the visual rapport between the human body and the decorative, Wiley’s models are depicted in re-imagined fields inspired by William Morris’ immediately identifiable designs.