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  Current Exhibitions

Conversations—Marking 20 Years

May 16–September 21, 2014

Kemper Museum

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Conversations—Marking 20 Years brings together premiere works of art from the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art on the occasion of the Museum’s 20th anniversary. Pairings and clusters will spark dialogue between the visitor and the works of art, questions amongst friends who visit the exhibition, and conversations about the relationships between artists and the art that is a testament to their time. Marking 20 Years indeed marks a signature moment in the history of the Kemper Museum. It offers visitors an opportunity to reflect upon the creation of the Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection, to be delighted by a favorite, or to be challenged by works new to the Collection.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Yellow Jonquils #3, 1936; oil on canvas, 30 1/4 x 40 1/4 inches; Collection of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Gift of the Enid and Crosby Kemper Foundation and the R. C. Kemper Charitable Trust and Foundation, 2005.12

Make Your Mark

September 5, 2014–March 6, 2015

Kemper at the Crossroads

New Hours: Friday 5:00–9:00 p.m., Saturday noon–4:00 p.m.

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Making a mark can be an expression of an artist’s signature style, the literal result of the artist’s gesture interacting with the surface of a work, or more simply the manipulation of material. Make Your Mark features ten works from the Kemper Museum Permanent Collection that emphasize the individual tropes and gestures employed by a selection of artists in making their signature mark. This exhibition celebrates the distinctive marks that define the identifiable styles of these individual artists.

Jim Dine, Meadow Heart #1, 1971; acrylic, oil collage on paper, 30 x 40 inches; Bebe and Crosby Kemper Collection Gift of the William T. Kemper Charitable Trust,
UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee, 1995.25

Depth and Meaning: 20th Anniversary Gifts

June 6, 2014–May 24, 2015

Kemper Museum

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Depth and Meaning: 20th Anniversary Gifts presents a selection of works of art gifted to the Museum by artists and collectors, dealers, and other friends of the Museum. The works on exhibition in the Meeting Room and Sally Kemper Wood galleries have been gifted in honor of the Museum’s twenty-year milestone. Additionally, these extraordinary gifts add depth and meaning to our understanding of the styles and influences of contemporary artists whose works are already a part of the Kemper Museum Permanent Collection.

Our mission to collect, care for, and interpret works of art is enhanced by the generosity and commitment of donors. Barry Anderson’s Finnean (2013), gifted by the artist, introduces a work from his project The Janus Restraint and demonstrates his continued interest in historical experimental cinema. One of Elizabeth Layton’s earliest works, I am Loved (1977), gifted by Don Lambert and the Lawrence Arts Center, joins two other drawings by Layton in the Collection that explore moments in the lives of aging individuals. Petah Coyne’s large-scale photograph Untitled (#887P-97) (1997), gifted anonymously, introduces into the Museum a two-dimensional exploration of the implied movement present in Untitled #827 (Three Tiered Chandelier) (1996). The Kemper Museum is honored to welcome these and other twentieth-anniversary gifts into the Permanent Collection.

Matt Rich, BLUE, 2014; gouache on Arches paper, 13 x 10 inches; Proposed gift of Matthew Rich and Sampsøn, Boston in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 2014.7

Jarrett Mellenbruch: Float

May 16–September 2014

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

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A site-specific installation on the grounds of the Museum by Kansas City-based artist Jarrett Mellenbruch, who is known for his interest in community engagement and interaction. This series of 8 hammocks commissioned by the Kemper Museum for the outdoor space invite the audience to take leisure time and relax on and amongst contemporary art.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Barry Anderson: Pigeon

April 18–November 2, 2014

Barbara and Paul Uhlmann Gallery

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Reflecting on the poetics of place, Barry Anderson’s single-channel video installation Pigeon (2001) (7:37 minute loop) engages the viewer in both the activity and stillness of a site. In this digital film of a pigeon moving under an arch of flowing water in the Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy, Anderson focuses on the quiet mystery and humor of the everyday. Accompanied by the existing sounds present in the piazza the video grounds us in a sense of real-time for a brief and unexpected exchange.

Barry Anderson, Pigeon, 2001, single-channel video with stereo, edition 2 of 5, dimensions variable, 7:37 min. loop. Gift of the artist, 2011.2.

This American Life

February 18–September 19, 2014

Kemper East

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This exhibition presents works from the Kemper Museum's permanent collection that explore the social, geographic, and historical subjects connected to aspects of life in America. Depictions of the familiar, images of people, places, and things, take on larger meaning when seen in the context of the exhibition. Among the artists featured are Christopher Brown, Rackstraw Downes, Janet Fish, Elizabeth Layton, and Jamie Wyeth.

Janet Fish, Fourth of July, 1986; oil on canvas, 46 x 62 inches; Collection of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Bebe and Crosby Kemper Collection, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. R. Crosby Kemper Jr., 1998.3