Cityscapes and Indoor Spaces contrasts the bustling energy of the city with the quiet intimacy of indoor spaces, as depicted in selected works of art from Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection. This exhibition highlights works that emphasize the personalities of the architectures of popular cities and interior spaces.
In Looking Up Broadway, Again! (1993), Red Grooms (American, born 1937) uses his well-known whimsical style to “bring to life the texture of the city.” The bright colors on the street along with the traffic give this depiction of Broadway Street in midtown Manhattan a loud and busy feel. In City Edge (1988), Night Ridge (1987), and Neighborhood Ridge (1984), Wayne Thiebaud (American, born 1920) paints San Francisco’s Potrero Hill district, where he moved in 1972. Thiebaud’s interest in the steep hills of the city mirror many of the buildings and bring character to these works even though no figures are present. Philip-Lorca DiCorcia (American, born 1951) takes candid snapshots of pedestrians, capturing surprised, unposed moments in contemporary city streets in Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Naples, among others. Japan (1994) exudes instantaneity and intensity, suggesting Tokyo’s energy.
Focusing on interior spaces, Michael Eastman (American, born 1947) created a portrait in Isabella’s Two Chairs (2000) using a large chandelier, hanging clothing, and two chairs standing in for figures to give the viewer a glimpse into this home. Untitled (Brooklyn, NY), from the series I Would Make You My Own (2005) by artist Anthony Lepore (American, born 1977) depicts a young woman in her living room working with her falcon. For this work, Lepore focuses on themes of family and pets to explore people’s desire to possess and connect with the world around them. The works in this exhibition showing interiors create a sense of intimacy that allows for a brief understanding of the personality of the homes depicted and the lives of the people in them.
Cityscapes and Indoor Spaces is curated by Jade Powers, assistant curator at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.