Depth and Meaning: 20th Anniversary Gifts
Depth and Meaning: 20th Anniversary Gifts presents a selection of works of art gifted to the Kemper Museum by artists and collectors, dealers, and other friends to commemorate and celebrate the Museum’s twenty-year milestone. These extraordinary gifts also add depth and meaning to our understanding of the styles and influences of contemporary artists whose works are already a part of the Kemper Museum Permanent Collection.
Our mission to collect, care for, and interpret works of art is enhanced by the generosity and commitment of donors. Three works in the Kemper Museum Collection by Berkeley, California–based artist Christopher Brown, including the recently gifted painting Continental II (1995/2013), provide an overview of Brown’s ambitious project and the variations in scale and perspective he employs. New York and Maine–based artist Lois Dodd’s Hydrangea (1997) reveals a gestural approach that accentuates the organic floral subject while Men’s Shelter, April (1968) from the Museum’s Collection captures an urban view through a window in a series of interlocking planes. Both paintings recall her signature ability to create tension between two- and three-dimensional space. Connecticut-based artist June Ahrens employs repeated motifs and recontextualizes objects, as seen in the grid of tin trays holding individual pieces of soap and stones in Used and Worn (1995–96), transforming the experience of these banal objects and materials and breathing life back into the act of working with one’s hands. Using everyday materials such as paper, soap, and glass—a primary medium in her work Still Standing (2010) in the Kemper Permanent Collection—Ahrens continues to play on themes of loss, fragility, danger, and survival.