Grey Area (Brown version)
On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Fred Wilson often appropriates art objects to explore issues of race, gender, class, politics, and aesthetics. Made up of five portrait heads of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti, Grey Area (Brown Version) refers to one of the most copied works of ancient civilization. The otherwise identical plaster effigies, which he purchased and painted, illustrate a value scale ranging in color from oatmeal to dark chocolate. Thus, Wilson raises, but does not answer, controversial questions about the racial identity of ancient Egyptians.
In both his provocative, groundbreaking installations in cultural institutions and in his studio work, Wilson encourages viewers to recognize how changes in context create changes in meaning. He has said of his practice, “I use beauty as a way of helping people to receive difficult or upsetting ideas. The topical issues are merely a vehicle for making one aware of one’s own perceptual shift—which is the real thrill.”
Paint, plaster and wood
Overall: 20 x 84 in. (50.8 x 213.4 cm)
Each bust: 18 3/4 x 9 x 13 in. (47.6 x 22.9 x 33 cm) (show scale)
Bequest of William K. Jacobs, Jr. and bequest of Richard J. Kempe, by exchange
© Fred Wilson
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Fred Wilson (American, born 1954). Grey Area (Brown version), 1993. Paint, plaster and wood, Overall: 20 x 84 in. (50.8 x 213.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of William K. Jacobs, Jr. and bequest of Richard J. Kempe, by exchange, 2008.6a-j. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2008.6a-j_profile_PS4.jpg)
overall, 2008.6a-j_profile_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Five painted plaster busts of Nefer Titi (a - e) sitting on five wood shelves (f - j).
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