Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Paul Mpagi Sepuya (b. 1982, San Bernardino, CA) is an artist working in photography whose projects weave together histories and possibilities of portraiture, queer and homoerotic networks of production and collaboration, and the material and conceptual potential of blackness at the heart of the medium. His interests also include queer literary modernism, questions of artistic responsibility and care regarding representation and refusal.

 

Sepuya received an MFA in photography at UCLA in 2016. From 2000 – 2014 Sepuya lived and worked in New York City, receiving a BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2004. Sepuya became known for his 2005 – 2007 zine series “SHOOT” and body of work, “Beloved Object & Amorous Subject, Revisited” (2005-8), along with participation and collaborations in the re-emergence of queer zines culture of the 2000s. He went on to participate in Artist-in-Residence programs at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, The Studio Museum in Harlem and Fire Island Artist Residency.

 

Sepuya’s work is in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, MOCA Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Getty Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the ICA Boston, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the International Center for Photography, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Carnegie Museum, among others. Solo museum exhibitions include “Double Enclosure” at Fotomuseum Amsterdam (2018), “Drop Scene” at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (2020), and “Paul Mpagi Sepuya,” a survey of work from 2006 – 2018 presented at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and University of Houston Blaffer Art Museum, and accompanied by a monograph published by CAM St. Louis and Aperture Foundation. Recent museum exhibitions also include a project for the 2019 Whitney Biennial, “Being: New Photography 2018” at the Museum of Modern Art, “Trigger” at the New Museum New York City, and group exhibitions at the Walker Art Center, Contemporary Art Museum Houston, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Getty Museum.

 

Sepuya’s work has been covered and published in ARTFORUM, Aperture, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Art Review, Frieze, Art in America, Monocle, Osmos, The Nation, and The Guardian among others. He was a recipient of the 2019 Rauschenberg Residency. He is Acting Associate Professor in Media Arts at the University of California San Diego and has taught at CalArts and Bard MFA. 

Works

Fish House Mirror (_1060652), 2019, 24 x 32 inches

Fish House Mirror (_1070368), 2019, 24 x 32 inches

Fish House Mirror (_1080062), 2019, 24 x 32 inches

Mirror Study (0X5A1933), 2019, 34 x 51 inches

Mirror Study (0X5A1948), 2019, 34 x 51 inches

Mirror Study (0X5A4206), 2019, 50 x 75 inches

Mirror Study (0X5A4215), 2019 34 x 51 inches

Mirror Study (0X5A4216), 2019, 9 x 13 inches

Mirror Study (0X5A4261), 2019, 50 x 75

Screen (_1100711), 2019, 34 x 45 inches

Screen (0X5A4359), 2019, 40 x 60 inches

A conversation around pictures (0X5A0816), 2019, 40 x 60 inches

A conversation around pictures (0X5A7523), 2019, 24 x 36 inches

Darkroom Mirror (0X5A4552), 2019, 24 x 36 inches

A portrait (0X5A8538), 2019, 24 x 36 inches

Darkroom Mirror diptych (0X5A4336, _1150028), 2019, 24 x 36 and 24 x 32 inches

Drop Scene (_1130068), 2019, 34 x 45 inches

Drop Scene (0X5A2742), 2019, 34 x 51 inches

Figure (0X5A4042), 2019, 24 x 36 inches

Figure (0X5A4229), 2019, 9 x 13 inches

Figures (0X5A7800), 2019, 13 x 9 inches

Paul Mpagi Sepuya, A Ground (0X5A1495), 2018, Archival pigment print, 51 x 34 in, Edition of 5

Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Black Mirror Study (_2110109), 2018, Archival pigment print, 24 x 32 in, Edition of 5

Fish House Mirror (_1060652), 2019, 24 x 32 inches

Fish House Mirror (_1070368), 2019, 24 x 32 inches

Fish House Mirror (_1080062), 2019, 24 x 32 inches

Mirror Study (0X5A1933), 2019, 34 x 51 inches

Mirror Study (0X5A1948), 2019, 34 x 51 inches

Mirror Study (0X5A4206), 2019, 50 x 75 inches

Mirror Study (0X5A4215), 2019 34 x 51 inches

Mirror Study (0X5A4216), 2019, 9 x 13 inches

Mirror Study (0X5A4261), 2019, 50 x 75

Screen (_1100711), 2019, 34 x 45 inches

Screen (0X5A4359), 2019, 40 x 60 inches

A conversation around pictures (0X5A0816), 2019, 40 x 60 inches

A conversation around pictures (0X5A7523), 2019, 24 x 36 inches

Darkroom Mirror (0X5A4552), 2019, 24 x 36 inches

A portrait (0X5A8538), 2019, 24 x 36 inches

Darkroom Mirror diptych (0X5A4336, _1150028), 2019, 24 x 36 and 24 x 32 inches

Drop Scene (_1130068), 2019, 34 x 45 inches

Drop Scene (0X5A2742), 2019, 34 x 51 inches

Figure (0X5A4042), 2019, 24 x 36 inches

Figure (0X5A4229), 2019, 9 x 13 inches

Figures (0X5A7800), 2019, 13 x 9 inches

Paul Mpagi Sepuya, A Ground (0X5A1495), 2018, Archival pigment print, 51 x 34 in, Edition of 5

Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Black Mirror Study (_2110109), 2018, Archival pigment print, 24 x 32 in, Edition of 5

Press

2021 3.18

Artadia 2021 Los Angeles Awardee

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

2020 12.28

Artists for Akbar - Solidarity Print #3

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

2020 12.10

Solo exhibition at Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

2020 9.18

Solidarity Print #2

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

2020 6.2

Solidarity Print

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

2020 5.20

Participation in NADAs online art fair initiative: FAIR

Elizabeth Atterbury, Sterling Lawrence, Erin Jane Nelson, Paul Mpagi Sepuya

2020 4.28

The Guardian

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

2020 4.4

Monograph via Aperture and the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis⁠

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

2019 12.5

Art Basel Miami Beach 2019

DOCUMENT at Art Basel Miami Beach 2019

2019 10.19

Blaffer Art Museum

Paul Mpagi Sepuya at Blaffer Art Museum

2019 10.16

Artnet News

From Bruegel in Vienna to Basquiat in Paris, Here Are 38 Must-See Museum Shows Worth Traveling for This Fall

2019 9.14

Glamcult

Paul Mpagi Sepuya at Foam Amsterdam

2019 5.17

Whitney Museum of American Art

Paul Mpagi Sepuya: Whitney Biennial

2019 5.17

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

Paul Mpagi Sepuya at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

2019 4.27

Stonewall 50

Paul Mpagi Sepuya: Stonewall 50 at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

2019 3.29

The New Yorker

Paul Mpagi Sepuya Mines the Queer History of the Portrait Studio

2019 3.28

The New York Times

New York Art Galleries: What to See Right Now

2019 3.1

ARTFORUM

PROJECT: PAUL MPAGI SEPUYA

2018 10.18

FIAC

DOCUMENT at FIAC Paris 2018

2018 5.18

Contemporary Art Daily

Paul Mpagi Sepuya at DOCUMENT

2018 4.19

Newcity Art Review

INTIMATE MOVES IN A DARK ROOM, PAUL MPAGI SEPUYA AT DOCUMENT

2018 4.14

ARTFORUM

ARTFORUM CRITICS’ PICKS

2018 3.18

MoMA

Being: New Photography 2018

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