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For more information or digital images, contact
Margaret Keough, director of marketing and communications
margaret (at) kemperart (dot) org or 816-457-6132

Abstract Paintings by Barbara Grad
Focus of New Exhibition at Kemper at the Crossroads

Opens First Fridays, February 4

     The exhibition Video Villa: New Paintings by Barbara Grad features more than a dozen abstract paintings by Boston-based painter Barbara Grad. The works illustrate the artist’s command of painterly abstraction, both geometric and organic. The exhibition—Grad’s first solo museum exhibition—is on view February 4–May 28, 2011, at Kemper at the Crossroads, 33 W. 19th Street. Admission is free.

     The exhibition opens with a free public reception 6:00–8:00 p.m., Friday, February 4. The artist will be present. Artist Barbara Grad and exhibition and Kemper Museum Curator Barbara O’Brien will speak about abstraction in “Finding Our Way: A Conversation about Abstraction” from 2:00–3:00 p.m., Saturday, February 5, at Kemper at the Crossroads. The talk is free.
Above: Barbara Grad, Traffic, 2008, oil on linen, 42 x 48 in., Courtesy of the artist
     The exhibition’s paintings, some joining together two canvases, were created between 2008 and 2010 and take inspiration from the dynamic intersection of worlds seemingly at odds; maps (found in a cache stored by her son) offer secret entry into gaming worlds, and the aerial topography of the boundaries between the built and the natural world. Translucent layers of brilliantly hued and hard-edged maplike shapes stand as metaphors for the duality of time and place. Grad transforms notions of pictorial space into impressions of instability and inherently unpredict- able experiences. While abstract, viewers may see city grids, land masses, tributaries, graffiti, and other recognizable forms in Grad’s painterly universe.
     Born in Chicago, Grad received her BFA and MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and since 1981 she has been a member of the painting faculty at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. She has been an artist in residence in Ireland, Hawaii, and Australia, and a professor at the Pont Aven School of Contemporary Art in France. She has been the recipient of several grants and awards, including the Artist’s Resource Trust Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Grant, among others.
     Grad’s works are found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and well as corporate collections, including Fidelity Investments in Boston. She has participated in a number of group exhibitions at galleries and museums across the country and had solo gallery exhibitions at Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, MA, and The Gallery at First Parish, Weston, MA, among others.
     Organized by the Kemper Museum, the exhibition is accompanied by a brochure with an essay by Barbara O’Brien. The exhibition was first on view this past fall at the Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Finding Our Way: A Conversation about Abstraction
Saturday, February 5, 2:00–3:00 p.m.
Kemper at the Crossroads | FREE

Join artist Barbara Grad and Curator Barbara O’Brien in a lively discussion about looking at abstract painting. “When I look out a window the world is both recognizable and abstract,” says Grad. “Maybe all painting is just tricking the eye or creating a lie. But, for me it is really just believing in a space.”

Teacher Burnout Buster: Linking Geography and Art
Friday, April 8, 5:00–7:00 p.m.
Kemper at the Crossroads | FREE

Teachers, explore the exhibition Video Villa: New Paintings by Barbara Grad and learn ways to incorporate art into classroom lessons about physical and cultural geography. Materials are provided for a hands-on activity. This workshop is appropriate for elementary and mid- dle-school educators of any discipline. To register, contact Lauren Park at 816-457-6136 or lpark (at) kemperart (dot) org.

About the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Kansas City’s renowned free modern and contemporary art museum, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art opened in 1994 and draws more than 130,000 visitors each year. The Museum boasts a rapidly growing permanent collection and in three locations—Kemper Museum, Kemper at the Crossroads, and Kemper East. Admission is free to all locations.

The Kemper Museum (4420 Warwick Blvd.) is open 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Tuesday–Thursday;
10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m., Friday–Saturday; and 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Sunday. Café Sebastienne serves lunch 11:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Tuesday–Sunday; and dinner 5:30–9:00 p.m., Friday–Saturday. The Museum and Café are closed on Mondays and major holidays.
Kemper at the Crossroads (33 West 19th Street) is open noon–8:00 p.m., Friday and noon–6:00 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. The galleries of Kemper East (200 E. 44th Street) are open 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Tuesday–Friday.

Thank you
Support for Kemper Museum exhibitions is generously provided by Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee; Francis Family Foundation; Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, Commerce Bank, Trustee; David Woods Kemper Memorial Foundation; William T. Kemper Foundation—Commerce Bank, Trustee; ArtsKC Fund—Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City; DST Systems, Inc.; and Sosland Foundation.
Frontier Airlines is the official airline of the Kemper Museum.

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