Angela Dufresne: Making a Scene
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is proud to present Angela Dufresne: Making a Scene, a major museum exhibition comprising of more than thirty paintings and video works spanning nearly a decade. Focusing on her signature depictions of modern life, Dufrense (b. 1969) compositionally connects us to the history of painting and cinema.
Dufresne creates impressive tableaux vivants featuring figures and architecture that are at once grandiose and humble, imagined and believable, scenic and chaotic—connecting widely disparate icons into chaotically beautiful mises en scène. Her critical eye brings the past into the present: the settings, historical story lines, and array of subjects she employs align with a montage sensibility in which different imagery from carefully selected moments in visual culture coalesce. Dufresne’s paintings and videos provide a constant link to motion, motion picture, and scene. They remark on the immediacy of today, engaging with the chaotic, sensual, reflective, and changing aspects of how we got here. By acknowledging points of representation in our past, she critically and openly discusses this era and generation.
Dufresne’s paintings and videos are expressions of “the stuff of the world, in dialogue with media, cultural production, and history as performance.” Her scenes are reactionary, impulsive, intuitive, and critically responsive to art and its history. They engage with themes intimately tied to aesthetics, nature, allegory, society, empathy, queer discourse, and feminism, which emphasize the real allegory of our lived experiences. It is precisely this combination of intellect, action, and emotion that makes Dufresne’s paintings feel like they are happening right in front of us.
Angela Dufresne: Making a Scene is organized by Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, and curated by Erin Dziedzic, director of curatorial affairs.