PRINT March 2020



Kent Monkman, Resurgence of the People, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 11 × 22'.

AT THE OPENING for Kent Monkman’s mistikôsiwak (Wooden Boat People), 2019, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s inaugural commission for a new initiative that brings works of contemporary art to its Great Hall, the Canadian Cree artist declared his love for the Western canon: “I love the Old Masters. I love Titian. I love Rubens. I love Delacroix.” Across the nearly five hundred square feet of the two history paintings that constitute the project—Resurgence of the People and Welcoming the Newcomers—echoes of these artists’ works appear in gestures, figural groupings, costumes, and physiognomies, many of them quoted from pictures in the Met’s collection and beyond.

As with last year’s presentation of the Kenyan American Wangechi Mutu’s bronze caryatids on its Fifth Avenue facade, the Met is continuing its bid for relevance and expanding the inclusiveness of its mission, which Monkman’s

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