Stop / Motion
Stop / Motion is an exhibition of two-dimensional works from the Kemper Museum Permanent Collection that focus on the varying techniques used by artists to demonstrate both a sense of stillness and action. In addition to the figure present in each of these works, each artist’s composition reinforces either action or stasis.
Exemplifying motion, Philip-Lorca di Corcia’s theatrically charged photograph Japan (1994) exudes action as a man hustles down a city street, while simultaneously capturing the fixed quality of the photographic medium. Cindy Sherman draws on cinematic styling in her work Film Still #60 (1980), creating a dynamic scene that suggests the narrative quality of a film persona.
Artists also create a sense of stillness in works as a means to emphasize specific people and moments. Till Freiwald’s Untitled (2002) is a portrait of a woman in a front-facing pose, in a direct gaze with the viewer. The figure’s presentation on a white ground offers an even greater focus on the subject. By contrast, Garry Winogrand’s pastoral photographs from the late 1960s and early 1970s depict a lake shoreline and figures in leisurely repose that emphasize static scenes. Together, the works show us ways in which artists achieve aspects of motion and stillness through inventive and pointed compositional techniques.