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Exploring the Mystery of Place—New Exhibition at Kemper Museum
Puts Eric Forstmann’s Works in Context

Artist to Speak at Museum on Sunday, May 8

     Reminiscent of Edward Hopper’s works of isolation, Eric Forstmann paints images of the empty streets of Amenia, a small town in New York’s Hudson Valley, as well as the interiors of long-abandoned farmhouses. The exhibition Acquisitions in Context: Eric Forstmann focuses on the painter’s interiors and nighttime street scenes and provides context for the artist’s work, Amenia, 2:30 a.m. (2010–11), commissioned by the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art for its Permanent Collection. The exhibition, featuring nine works, is on view April 29–August 14, 2011, at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Admission to the Museum is free.

     As a realist painter, Forstmann works in recognizable genres—still life, plein air landscapes, trompe l’oeil, and interiors. The artist celebrates the images of the everyday and takes inspiration from painters before him, from 17th-century Dutch artist Jan Vermeer to 20th-century American realist Edward Hopper. Forstmann paints the landscapes and environments of areas around his home in northwestern Connecticut and the nearby Hudson Valley.
     The Museum’s new acquisition comes from the artist’s series of paintings of neighboring Amenia, New York. Created at night, these psychologically charged canvases depict a time when few are awake. They resonate with a sense of abandonment and isolation. In an interview with Kemper Museum Chief Curator Barbara O’Brien, Forstmann said, “I feel a certain responsibility to champion the unsung.” He continued, “I am always attracted to the mystery of the lives of those that live or have lived in the places: the history, failure, and the how and why of a place.”
Above: Eric Forstmann, Amenia, 2:30 a.m., 2010–11, oil on board, 23 x 37.5 in., Collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
     Born in 1962, Forstmann studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/ Tufts University. His works can be found in many private and public collections, including the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; the Evansville Museum of Arts, Science, and History, Indiana, and the New Jersey Center of the Visual Arts, Summit, New Jersey. This exhibition at the Kemper Museum is among the artist’s first solo museum exhibitions.
     This is the second in a series of exhibitions, called Acquisitions in Context, at the Kemper Museum. This focused exhibition pairs new works to the Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection with other works by the same artist. This allows visitors to see more works by the artist and makes more transparent the process by which works of art enter the Museum’s collection. Since the Museum’s opening in 1994, the Permanent Collection has more than tripled.

Conversation: Artist Eric Forstmann and the Plein Air Tradition
Sunday, May 8, 1:30 p.m.
Meeting Room at Kemper Museum | FREE

Artist Eric Forstmann will speak about his paintings, including those in the exhibition, with Chief Curator Barbara O’Brien. Seating is first come, first served in the Meeting Room.

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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