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 Past Exhibition

Ride or Die

September 6–March 7, 2014

Kemper at the Crossroads

link see past exhibition gallery link see current exhibition gallery    

Graffiti or “street art” has been largely synonymous with being made and viewed outdoors, on surfaces of public structures throughout cities worldwide, usually without permission. The visual vocabulary used by graffiti artists has often expressed modes of activism, creative thought, and personal and cultural insignias. Visual signifiers and recognizable motifs often associated with graffiti culture, such as abstract graphic shapes, vibrant colors, bold lettering, and mural-like dimensions, are identifiable in works by artists outside of the genre. Many graffiti artists have also made the transition from working outside to showing in museum galleries. Culled from the Kemper Museum's permanent collection, works by Ed Blackburn, Gajin Fujita, Archie Scott Gobber, Jim Hodges, Greg Miller, Roger Shimomura, and Frank Stella serve as examples of the influence that graffiti has had on artists showing in a museum context.

Gajin Fujita, Ride or Die, 2005; spray paint, paint marker, paint stick, gold and white gold leaf, 84 x 132 1/2 inches; Collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Bebe and Crosby Kemper Collection, Museum Purchase, Enid and Crosby Kemper and William T. Kemper Acquisition Fund