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  Current Exhibitions

Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu

October 10, 2014–January 11, 2015

Kemper Museum and Kemper East

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The exhibition Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu is the first comprehensive survey of the artwork of Hung Liu—one of the most prominent Chinese painters working in the United States today. Featuring paintings, as well as personal ephemera such as photographs, sketch books, and informal painting studies from private and public collections around the world, the exhibition celebrates Liu's career accomplishments and includes work completed in China before the artist arrived in the U.S. The exhibition explores the evolution of Liu's artistic practice, and investigates the complex interactions between individual memory and history, and documentary evidence and artistic expression, among other themes.

Born in Changchun, China, in 1948, a year before the creation of the People's Republic of China, Liu lived through Maoist China and experienced the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Trained as a social realist painter and muralist, she came to the United States in 1984 to attend the University of California, San Diego, where she received her MFA. One of the first people from mainland China to study abroad and pursue an art career, she moved to northern California to become a faculty member at Mills College in 1990, and has continued to live and work in the Bay Area. She has exhibited internationally at premier museums and galleries, and her work resides in prestigious private and institutional collections around the world. Hung Liu currently lives in Oakland and is a tenured professor in the Art Department at Mills College.

The exhibition was organized by the Oakland Museum of California.

Hung Liu, Mu Nu (Mother and Daughter), 1997; oil on canvas, diptych, 80 x 140 inches (overall); Collection of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum purchase 1997.22a–b

Make Your Mark

September 5, 2014–August 8, 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; Gift of Matt Rich and Samsøñ, Boston in honor of the 20th Anniversary of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 2014.7

Barry Anderson: Pigeon

Now on view

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.