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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

Jeanne Quinn: Ceramic In(ter)ventions Opens October 7 at Kemper at the Crossroads

     Artist Jeanne Quinn creates hybrid installations that combine porcelain with unexpected mediums, including paint, electricity, and—perhaps most unexpectedly—balloons. The weight and balance of these inventive works joins the awkward to the elegant; the sublime to the everyday; a sense of fragility with the gravity of form. The exhibition Jeanne Quinn: Ceramic In(ter)ventions, featuring three installations, is on view October 7, 2011–January 7, 2012, at Kemper at the Crossroads, 33 W. 19th Street. Admission is free.

     The exhibition opens with a free public reception Friday, October 7, 6:00–8:00 p.m. at Kemper at the Crossroads. That night, visitors will have the opportunity to meet the artist and Kemper at the Crossroads will be open until 10:00 p.m.
     Several of Quinn’s works hang from the ceiling like a chandelier, and the artist is influenced by a variety of sources, including the imperfect symmetry of the human skeletal structure, decorative arts, and mapping. Quinn examines ideas of perception; several of her works change as a viewer moves around or through one of the artist’s works as in the exhibition’s installation Everything Is Not As It Seems (2009). Or in the case of the exhibition’s A Thousand Tiny Deaths (2009–11), the work evolves over time as it is on display. Above: Jules Olitski, Prince Patutszky Pleasures, 1962; acrylic on canvas, 89.75 in. x 88 in.; Bebe and Crosby Kemper Collection, Gift of the R. C. Kemper Charitable Trust, 2009.21
     In A Thousand Tiny Deaths, Quinn hangs dozens of black porcelain vases and urns that surround inflated balloons; the hybrid forms are then suspended from the ceiling. As the balloons age, they deflate, and Quinn’s delicate vessels with classical references crash to the floor, where the vases’ shards rest from their fall. This unexpected and fragile element make the work performative and dynamic as well as fleeting.
     In the exhibition’s full-gallery installation Everything Is Not As It Seems, the artist connects various white porcelain forms (many referencing the human skeleton) with light into a chandelier-like installation. Influenced by Richard Wagner’s idea of the complete work or Gesamtkunstwerk, Quinn combines elements that reference traditional decorative objects into sensually encompassing installations. Viewers become active participants when their perception of the artwork’s forms and light change as they walk around and underneath this suspended installation.
     In 1967, he was awarded the Corcoran Gold Medal and William A. Clark Award at the 30th Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Painters at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The Corcoran then organized a major exhibition of his works that also traveled to the San Francisco Museum of Art, and in 1973, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston organized a retrospective that traveled to the Albright-Knox Gallery of Art in Buffalo, NY, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, NY. Since then, his works have been included in hundreds of exhibitions and may be found in collections around the world from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to Florence’s Uffizi Portrait Gallery.
     A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue accompanies the exhibition Revelation: Major Paintings by Jules Olitski and includes essays by E. A. Carmean Jr., independent curator and former curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.; Alison de Lima Greene, curator of contemporary art and special projects at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Karen Wilkin, independent curator and regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal and Art in America; as well as select writings by Olitski. The catalogue will be available for $40 in mid-May through the Museum Shop at

Exhibition-Related Programs
Film Screening: Jules Olitski: Modern Master
Friday, May 20, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.
Meeting Room | FREE

Be among the first to see a short-subject documentary about the artist. Chief Curator Barbara O’Brien introduces the film, shown during the opening reception for Revelation: Major Paintings by Jules Olitski. Seating is first come, first served.

Tour and Workshop: Memories in the Making
Wednesday, June 1, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
repeated: Wednesday, August 3, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Meeting Room and Exhibition Galleries | FREE

In collaboration with the Heart of America Alzheimer’s Association, the Kemper Museum invites those with memory loss for a tour and creative workshop based on the exhibition Revelation: Major Paintings by Jules Olitski. Prior art experience is not necessary. Registration required. Contact 816-457-6134 or reservations (at) kemperart (dot) org.

Tour: Meet Me at the Museum
Sunday, June 5, 2:00 p.m.
Meeting Room and Exhibition Galleries | FREE

Join Chief Curator Barbara O’Brien for an introduction to the life and times of Jules Olitski in the Meeting Room, followed by a tour of Revelation: Major Paintings by Jules Olitski.

Concert: Dark Matter: Orbit
Sunday, June 12, 2:00 p.m.
Meeting Room | FREE

Take in the sound- and skyscapes of Dark Matter against the backdrop of Jules Olitski’s atmospheric and explosive abstract paintings. Dark Matter fuses original electro-acoustic music by composers Daniel Eichenbaum and Richard Johnson and performers Rebecca Ashe, flute, and Cheryl Melfi, clarinet, with a voyage into space guided by astronomer Robert Riddle. Dark Matter merges art, science, and technology. Seating is first come, first served.

Workshop: Writing About Art with an Authentic Voice
Saturday and Sunday, June 25–26, noon–4:00 p.m. (sign up for one day or both)
Meeting Room | FREE

Loosen up through a lively writing workshop designed to free you from your fears or frustrations with writing about your own art and other’s works of art. Led by writer Gina Kaufmann and using Jules Olitski’s writings published in the exhibition’s catalogue as models, participants work through sensory and experiential exercises to reveal and revel in their authentic voices. Artists may choose to write about their own art, and non-artists are encouraged to explore transformative experiences with art through writing. Each day is designed around a theme. Come for one day or both days to enjoy a weekend of writing. A mid-afternoon snack is provided. Registration, limited to 15, is required. Contact 816-457-6134 or
reservations (at) kemperart (dot) org.

Scavenger Saturdays for Families
Saturday, July 16, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Exhibition Galleries | FREE

This month, hone your art detective skills and discover something new about the works in Revelation: Major Paintings by Jules Olitski. Children and adults participate in a self-guided art adventure focused on careful looking. Upon completion, children receive a take-home art activity related to the exhibition. Explore different works of art every third Saturday of the month with Scavenger Saturdays.

Lecture: The Battle of the “Bergs”: Clement Greenberg, Harold Rosenberg, and the Struggle for the Meaning of Abstract Expressionism
Sunday, July 17, 2:00 p.m.
Meeting Room | FREE

No two critics have been more closely associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement in America than Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg. Their pitched battles over formal purity versus existential meaning were played out in art magazines, galleries, and museums nationwide. Their rivalry was so intense that satirist Tom Wolfe dubbed them the “Bergs.” Norman Kleeblatt, chief curator of the Jewish Museum in New York, offers an opportunity to reconsider Abstract Expressionism’s evolution through the contradictory explanations of these two major critics and tastemakers and works by Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky and Hans Hofmann, Lee Krasner and Grace Hartigan and, not least, Helen Frankenthaler and Jules Olitski. Seating is first come, first served.

Camp Kemper: Spray, Stain, and Spackle
Wednesday–Friday, July 27–29, 1:00–3:00 p.m.
Meeting Room | FREE

Jules Olitski’s paintings are sure to inspire young artists during this three-day camp. Campers, ages 7–11, experiment with colors, materials, and painting techniques similar to those used by Olitski. Each day at camp includes looking at original works of art and participating in projects. Registration, limited to 18, is required. Contact 816-457-6136 or reservations (at) kemperart (dot) org.

Family Day: Art in Action
Sunday, August 7, noon–3:00 p.m.
Museum | FREE

Explore the abstract works in Revelation: Major Paintings by Jules Olitski and try your hand at action painting on the Museum’s front lawn. Materials and treats are provided during this afternoon of free family fun.

Jeremy Blake: Fields, Film, and Other Influences
Sunday, August 14, 2:00 p.m.
Meeting Room | FREE

In tribute to Blake’s embrace of Color Field abstraction in his pioneering “moving paintings,” the Kemper Museum presents a selection of works from across the arc of his career which was tragically cut short in 2007—the same year Jules Olitski died. Digital animation artist Barry Anderson introduces Blake’s work and discusses the technical toolkit employed by multi-media artists working today. Seating is first come, first served.

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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