Learn more about the artists, places, and themes in this exhibition.

Scale can signal importance. As Wiley remarked: “So much of what painting has been about in history is that macho chest beating, and scale has so much to do with that. If you look at the ’50s and the Abstract Expressionist painters, everything’s very big … Even way before that…. Scale, in some ways, becomes a measurement of historical importance. War, national history, and religious history are those big things that you paint big. Bottom line here is that scale has been associated with power, and my work has always been an investigation of power. I take the powerless, anonymous young black men off the streets and throw them into this world, this vocabulary of the powerful, and ask what does that feel like, and why do you do it? That’s the starting point.”