Titus Kaphar was named one of WSJ. Magazine’s 2020 Art Innovators.

Justin Kamp
Nov 16, 2020 8:49PM, via WSJ. Magazine

Portrait of Titus Kaphar in his studio. Courtesy Mario Sorrenti for WSJ. Magazine.

Titus Kaphar was named WSJ. Magazine’s 2020 Art Innovator and is slated to be on the cover of their November in-print issue. Fellow recipients include Patti Smith, which the magazine honored for her contributions to literature, and MASS Design Group, named an innovator in architecture, among others. The magazine credits Kaphar with “creating a new artistic canon” and acknowledges his work developing NXTHVN, a nonprofit arts incubator in New Haven, Connecticut centered on a holistic approach to artist development, including access to lawyers and accountants in addition to the usual curators and collectors.

The award marks the latest achievement in a year of milestones for the painter. In June, his painting Analogous Colors (2020) was featured on the cover of an issue of TIME magazine focusing on police violence against Black Americans. The painting would eventually become part of “From a Tropical Space,” Kaphar’s debut solo exhibition with Gagosian, which he joined in April. The year also saw a new record at auction for the artist, when a 2018 oil and tar portrait sold at Sotheby’s Contemporary Curated auction in October for $854,900, nearly tripling its high estimate of $300,000.

According to Artsy data, demand for Kaphar’s work has seen a steady upward trend on the platform, with the number of inquiries increasing by a factor of more than 10 between 2017 and 2020.

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Justin Kamp