• Summer Wheat, Catch and Release, 2018, acrylic on aluminum mesh, 68 x 96 inches. 
    Collection of Tomokazu Matsuyama. © Summer Wheat, Courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles. Photo: Adam Reich

    Summer Wheat, Catch and Release, 2018, acrylic on aluminum mesh, 68 x 96 inches. 
    Collection of Tomokazu Matsuyama. © Summer Wheat, Courtesy of the artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles. Photo: Adam Reich

  • Installation view, Summer Wheat: Blood, Sweat, and Tears, February 6–May 24, 2020, Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery,
    Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri. © Summer Wheat, courtesy of the artist
    and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles. Photo: EG Schempf

    Installation view, Summer Wheat: Blood, Sweat, and Tears, February 6–May 24, 2020, Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery,
    Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri. © Summer Wheat, courtesy of the artist
    and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles. Photo: EG Schempf

  • Installation view, Summer Wheat: Blood, Sweat, and Tears, February 6–May 24, 2020, Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery,
    Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri. © Summer Wheat, courtesy of the artist
    and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles. Photo: EG Schempf

    Installation view, Summer Wheat: Blood, Sweat, and Tears, February 6–May 24, 2020, Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery,
    Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri. © Summer Wheat, courtesy of the artist
    and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles. Photo: EG Schempf

  • Installation view, Summer Wheat: Blood, Sweat, and Tears, February 6–May 24, 2020, Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery,
    Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri. © Summer Wheat, courtesy of the artist
    and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles. Photo: EG Schempf

    Installation view, Summer Wheat: Blood, Sweat, and Tears, February 6–May 24, 2020, Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery,
    Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri. © Summer Wheat, courtesy of the artist
    and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles. Photo: EG Schempf

  • Installation view, Summer Wheat: Blood, Sweat, and Tears, February 6–May 24, 2020, Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery,
    Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri. © Summer Wheat, courtesy of the artist
    and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles. Photo: EG Schempf

    Installation view, Summer Wheat: Blood, Sweat, and Tears, February 6–May 24, 2020, Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery,
    Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri. © Summer Wheat, courtesy of the artist
    and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles. Photo: EG Schempf

  • Installation view, Summer Wheat: Blood, Sweat, and Tears, February 6–May 24, 2020, Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery,
    Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri. © Summer Wheat, courtesy of the artist
    and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles. Photo: EG Schempf

    Installation view, Summer Wheat: Blood, Sweat, and Tears, February 6–May 24, 2020, Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery,
    Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri. © Summer Wheat, courtesy of the artist
    and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles. Photo: EG Schempf

Summer Wheat: Blood, Sweat, and Tears

Thursday, February 6, 2020 to Sunday, May 24, 2020
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

In Blood, Sweat, and Tears, artist Summer Wheat’s vibrantly colored paintings depict a community of heroic females doing the “heavy lifting and running things.” Using an inventive process of pushing paint through aluminum mesh, Wheat’s large-scale paintings resemble medieval tapestries showing female figures as hunters, fishers, and beekeepers. These women rewrite historical imagery through themes such as labor, discovery, and expressions of joy where traditionally only men were present.

Introducing the technical progression of Wheat’s work over the last three years and debuting new paintings and drawings, this exhibition further emphasizes the relationship between drawing, painting, and sculpture. Beginning with drawings referencing inspiration from a broad spectrum of art historical references, ranging from Egyptian pictography to Native American imagery, from French Post-Impressionism to American Pop Art, Wheat questions the history of these narratives by proposing a contemporary perspective. She translates these drawings into brilliantly colorful, thickly encrusted paintings that appear almost sculptural as they bend slightly away from the wall like a tapestry. This exhibition is a milestone for Wheat as she continues to be inventive with her process and the reauthoring of everyday life.

Blood, Sweat, and Tears is organized by Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, and curated by Erin Dziedzic, director of curatorial affairs. A full-color catalogue is available in conjunction with this exhibition.

Sustaining Sponsor:
Christy and Bill Gautreaux


Learn more about this exhibition on the Kemper Museum smartphone app, available at: kemperart.org/app.

Exhibition Catalogue

Essays by Erin Dziedzic, David Pagel, Anna Stothart, Yael Friedman, Owen Duffy, and Nina Bozicnik. Forward written by Sean O'Harrow.

Published by Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 2020.

Product Dimensions: 12 x 8 x .25 inches, 72 Color Pages, Softcover, Language: English | $36.00

Click here for more information.

About the Artist

Summer Wheat (b. 1977, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) earned a BA from University of Central Oklahoma and an MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design. Recent solo exhibitions include Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri (2020); KMCA, Louisville, Kentucky (2019); Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, California (2018); Smack Mellon, New York, New York (2018); Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington (2017); and Oklahoma Contemporary, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (2016). Her work has been featured in recent museum exhibitions, including ICA Collection: Expanding the Field of Painting, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Massachusetts (2013–14); Paint Things: Beyond the Stretcher, deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, Massachusetts (2013); and Paradox Maintenance Technicians: A Comprehensive Manual to Contemporary Painting from Los Angeles and Beyond, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, California (2013). She is the recipient of the 2016 New York NADA Artadia Award given to one artist exhibiting at NADA New York. She is also the recipient of the 2019 Northern Trust Purchase Prize at EXPO Chicago and is now part of the permanent collection of the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. Wheat’s work is also in the permanent collections of Pérez Art Museum, Miami, Florida; the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas; de Young Museum, San Francisco, California; The Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; and The Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina.