Two paintings depicting different versions of the story of Judith and Holofernes from the Old Testament Apocrypha—one by Italian Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi and the other by American contemporary artist Kehinde Wiley—will be on view at the Kimbell for a limited time. Strikingly different renditions of the same subject realized 400 years apart, the paintings will allow visitors to reflect on contemporary issues through a historical lens.
Gentileschi’s Judith and Holofernes is both a powerful statement of her skill as an artist—which gained her much recognition during her lifetime—and a statement of the personal and professional adversity overcome by a young woman who succeeded at establishing a painting practice at a time when the field was almost entirely male dominated.
Wiley is best known for his monumental portraits of young Black men and women placed in historical poses and settings appropriated from Old Master paintings. He consistently addresses issues of race within art history while also commenting on contemporary culture, identity, power, and inequality.