• Installation view, Pepe Mar: Rising Sun, August 19, 2022–July 30, 2023,
    Atrium, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Photo: Kenny Johnson, 2022.

    Installation view, Pepe Mar: Rising Sun, August 19, 2022–July 30, 2023,
    Atrium, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Photo: Kenny Johnson, 2022.

Pepe Mar: Rising Sun

Friday, August 19, 2022 to Sunday, July 30, 2023
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art’s seventh annual Atrium Project, Pepe Mar: Rising Sun, features a monumental fabric painting by Miami-based artist Pepe Mar (born Reynosa, Mexico, 1977). This installation highlights the signature fabric featured throughout Mar’s recent practice—a medium-weight textile printed with images sourced from his 15-year career archive—stretched across the expanse of the main atrium wall.

During site visits to Kemper Museum, Mar researched the Permanent Collection and encountered Rising Sun (1958), a work by modernist painter Hans Hofmann (German American, 1880–1966). An example of abstract expressionism, the painting is composed of swaths of bright colors—oranges, blues, yellows, and greens—applied gesturally upon the surface of the canvas, creating irregular shapes with defined and unblended boundaries. Hofmann’s juxtaposition of discrete colors in many ways mirrors collage practice, where elements are brought together but remain distinct. It can perhaps be said that Hofmann collaged paint, resonating with Mar’s collaging of his own archive across his fabric works. Taking inspiration from Hofmann’s technique and palette, Mar stained the fabric to approximate the colors of Rising Sun. In so doing, Mar creates a place for himself in the lineages of art history and addresses his own stylistic and material inheritances.

As part of the Atrium Project installation, Mar has also created a new large-scale assemblage work depicting the newest iteration of the artist’s “Paprikas”: characters, or alter egos, that recur throughout Mar’s works. Their bodies, made from the influences that surround Mar in his studio and objects culled from antique and thrift shops, reflect the artist’s Queer, Latinx experience. Pepe Mar’s work is a layering of histories and materials capturing his overall ideas in a single monumental installation.

Pepe Mar: Rising Sun is organized by Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, curated by Erin Dziedzic, director of curatorial affairs.  

 

 

 

Artist Talk

Exhibition Programs

Pepe Mar Artist Talk and Atrium Project "Rising Sun" Opening
Thursday, August 18, 2022
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
5 p.m. Bar Opens | 6 p.m. Artist Talk | 7 p.m. Reception
FREE | All Ages | Registration Encouraged

Join us for an artist talk with Miami-based artist Pepe Mar (born Reynosa, Mexico, 1977) in conjunction with the opening of his solo commissioned Atrium Project, Rising Sun. Mar will present and speak about the installation's connection to Kemper Museum's Permanent Collection as well as his new iteration of the "Paprikas": characters, or alter egos, that recur throughout his work. The Paprika's bodies are made from objects culled from antique and thrift shops that ultimately reflect the artist's Queer, Latinx experience.

Kemper Museum Block Party
Saturday, August 20, 2022
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
6–10:30 p.m.
FREE | All Ages | Registration Encouraged

Kemper Museum Block Party is back! Join us for an after-hours celebration of art, food, film, and fun on the museum grounds, celebrating the opening of the newest Atrium Project installation, Pepe Mar: Rising Sun.

6–8:30 p.m. Art making, food and drinks, and music with DJ Joe The Mad Scientist & DJ Ice Kole
8:30 p.m. Family-friendly movie screening: Twister.

 

Exhibition Sponsors

Lead Sponsors
Christy and Bill Gautreaux

Sustaining Sponsors
Kansas City Missouri Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund