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  Media Release

For Immediate Release
August 30, 2013

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

New Exhibition Ride or Die at Kemper at the Crossroads Explores Graffiti and its Influence on Contemporary Art

Graffiti or “street art” has been largely synonymous with being made and viewed outdoors, on surfaces of public structures throughout cities worldwide, usually without permission. The works of art in Ride or Die will explore the influence of graffiti—direct and indirect—through works from the permanent collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibition is on view September 6–December 6, 2013, at Kemper at the Crossroads. Admission is free.

Ride or Die—the exhibition’s title taken from Gajin Fujita’s large-scale painting—includes works by Ed Blackburn, Archie Scott Gobber, Jim Hodges, Greg Miller, Roger Shimomura, and Frank Stella. These artworks serve as examples of the influence that graffiti has had on artists showing within a museum context.

The visual vocabulary used by graffiti artists has often expressed modes of activism, creative thought, and personal and cultural insignias. Visual signifiers and recognizable motifs often associated with graffiti culture, such as abstract graphic shapes, vibrant colors, bold lettering, and mural-like dimensions, are identifiable in works by artists outside of the genre. Many graffiti artists have also made the transition from working outside to showing in museum galleries.

Gajin Fujita, Ride or Die, 2005; spray paint, paint marker, paint stick, gold and white gold leaf, 84 x 132 1/2 inches; Collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Bebe and Crosby Kemper Collection, Museum Purchase, Enid and Crosby Kemper and William T. Kemper Acquisition Fund

Hours and Admission
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 W. 19th Street) is open noon to 10:00 p.m., most First Fridays, and the galleries at Kemper East (200 E. 44th Street) are open 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Tuesday–Friday. Admission is free.

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




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