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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 join 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: Jeanne Quinn, A Thousand Tiny Deaths (detail), 2009–11; black porcelain, balloons, string, dimensions variable; Courtesy of the artist
     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.
     Rorschach Curtain (2006) is comprised of numerous porcelain forms pinned directly into the wall on a painted ground that references an inkblot. The forms take on a decorative pattern, and the installation draws its name from the famous psychological test where subjects are asked their perceptions of inkblots. The test, first published in 1921, was developed by Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach.
     Her works have been included in a number of group and solo installations. This summer, visitors to the Denver Art Museum will see the artist’s 23-foot chandelier, created for the group exhibition Overthrown: Clay without Limits, on view June 11–September 18, 2011. The chandelier, made of some five hundred pieces, plays off the architecture of Denver’s Daniel Libeskind-designed building. She has had solo exhibitions at Lux Center for Visual Arts in Lincoln, Nebraska, and John Michael Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, among others.
     Quinn is Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the department of art and art history at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The artist is a graduate of Oberlin College, Ohio, and received her MFA in ceramics at the University of Washington.

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 120,000 visitors each year. The Museum boasts a rapidly growing permanent collection of modern and contemporary works of artists from around the world and in three locations—the signature Gunnar Birkerts-designed building, Kemper at the Crossroads, and Kemper East.

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 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 5:30–9:30 p.m., Friday–Saturday. The Museum and Café are closed on Mondays and major holidays. Admission is free.

The galleries of Kemper East (200 E. 44th Street) are open 10:00 a.m.–4 p.m., Tuesday–Friday. Admission is free.

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.

For more general information about the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art,


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