“The French exhibition is a welcome change … but in bringing black people to the fore of such art we must be careful to frame the images correctly. Black people were present in this history and paintings, not as equals but as subjects. Renaming them and removing racist epithets does not change the subservient role many of the paintings portray. It is tempting to get carried away celebrating our presence, while forgetting why we were there and continue to be here. In the most part, we remain subjects oppressed to the margins of the canvas.” — Kehinde Andrews
BLACK MODELS—FROM GÉRICAULT TO MATISSE, an exhibition of paintings featuring black sitters—some of which have been retitled to honor their subjects—is on view in Paris through mid-summer.
Through July 21.
1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 7th, Paris.
From top: Mickalene Thomas, Din, a very beautiful black woman #1, 2012, © Mickalene Thomas, Artist Rights Society, New York; Marie-Guillemine Benoist, Portrait of a Black Woman, 1800, renamed Portrait of Madeleine; Eugène Delacroix, Portrait of a Woman in a Blue Turban, circa 1827, Dallas Museum of Art; Jean-Léon Gérôme, Slave for Sale, 1873; Edouard Manet, Olympia, 1863, renamed Laure, Musée de Louvre; Charles Alston, Girl in a Red Dress, 1934, collection Harmon and Harriet Kelley Foundation for the Arts, San Antonio; Henri Matisse, Dame à la robe blanche, 1946, Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections, © 2018 Succession H. Matisse, ARS, New York, photograph by Rich Sanders. Images courtesy Musée d’Orsay.