• Julie Blackmon (American, born 1966),
    Records, 2021, archival pigment print.

    Courtesy of Haw Contemporary
    Art and photo © Julie Blackmon, 2021.

    Julie Blackmon (American, born 1966),
    Records, 2021, archival pigment print.

    Courtesy of Haw Contemporary
    Art and photo © Julie Blackmon, 2021.

Julie Blackmon

Friday, September 30, 2022 to Sunday, January 8, 2023
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Julie Blackmon (American, born 1966) has centered her life and career in and around Springfield, Missouri, the southwestern Missouri city home to nearly 500,000 residents and three universities. One of nine children and a mother of three, Blackmon’s color photographs depict family, community, and landscape deeply rooted in the artist’s Midwestern cultural heritage. The conflation of art and life—the everyday life of her family at home in Missouri—has been the continued subject of her photographic work.

This survey exhibition focuses on Blackmon's work from the past decade and features multi-dimensional scenes that combine portraiture and narrative and explore the complexity of broad subjects like play and wonder. Her carefully constructed “Jan Steen household-style” scenes emphasize the precarious balance of playfulness and chaos and draw attention to her art historical interest in the Dutch Golden Age. The cinematic quality of light, fondness for the uncanny familial in setting and tone, and the age progression of her subjects (a lasting reminder of the passing of time) reference such poignant contemporaries as Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra, American photographer Gregory Crewdson, and Richard Linklater’s film Boyhood (2014). 

This exhibition is organized by Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and curated by Erin Dziedzic, director of curatorial affairs at Kemper Museum.