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The Map as Art Explores Mapping in Contemporary Art
Opens September 14 at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
     Inspired by the best-selling book The Map as Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art presents The Map as Art, a group exhibition of works of art that explore issues of mapping and examine the personal gesture in large-scale works. The exhibition asks visitors, "In a map of the world, where are your borders? Where does your map begin and where does it end?" These questions and more are posed in The Map as Art, on view September 14, 2012–April 21, 2013 at the Kemper Museum. It opens with a free, public reception 5:30–7:30 p.m., Friday, September 14.
     Organized by the Kemper Museum and co-curated by Barbara O'Brien, the Museum's director and chief curator, and Katharine Harmon, author of The Map as Art (published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2009), the exhibition turns its attention to artist who use mapping as a way to make large artistic statements utilizing the myriad small gestures necessary to any depiction of location. It includes a site-specific installation by Nathan Carter and "walk-in" sculpture by Joyce Kozloff, as well as paintings and works on paper that lay claim to entire sections of the gallery. Using the vocabulary of abstraction, some artists illustrate aspects of locations, and others focus on the cultural aspects of place as political divisions between people. Based in reality or imagination, abstraction or representation, the theme of naming and presenting a place joins these diverse works of art.
    Explorers and scientists have long used mapping as a way to represent new lands, to draw boundaries, and to organize content. While the imagery of mapping frequently lies in traditional iconography, maps themselves are often in flux due to changes in geography, geo-political borders, economic factors, demographics, psychographic patterns, scientific discoveries, and more. Contemporary artists have been drawn to mapping to make sense of a world where borders are both defined and fluid, and the rise in technology has increased one's access to mapping, its related imagery, and the types of mapping available.

Above: Joyce Kozloff, detail of Targets, 2000; acrylic on canvas with wood frame, 108" diameter; Courtesy of the artist and DC Moore Gallery, New York, New York, photo: Jon and Anne Abbott, courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York, New York

     The Map as Art exhibition features more than thirty works of art by seven artists from around the world who literally and conceptually cull imagery from maps and mapping. These artists appropriate the visual language of mapping to address contemporary issues, the space between imagination and reality, or as a chart of the personal history and diaspora of the artist. To orient oneself in these artists' world is to experience the compelling tension between what is mapped and its interpretation. While other exhibitions have examined cartography in contemporary art, this is the first to focus on scale—both intimate and large scale.

Exhibition Artists

Ingrid Calame was born in the Bronx, New York in 1965, and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

Nathan Carter was born in Dallas, Texas in 1970, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Tiffany Chung was born in Danang, Vietnam in 1969, and currently lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Joyce Kozloff was born in Sommerville, New Jersey in 1942, and currently lives and works in New York, New York.

Lordy Rodriguez was born in Manila, Philippines in 1976, and currently lives and works in Vellejo, California.

Robert Walden was born in LaGrange, Georgia in 1968, and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Heidi Whitman was born in New York in 1949, and currently lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts.

Exhibition-Related Programs
Curator & Artist Talk: The Map as Art
6:30 p.m., Friday, September 14 (Opening Reception 5:30–7:30 p.m.)
Meeting Room | FREE

Hear Katharine "Kitty" Harmon, co-curator of the exhibition and author of The Map as Art, along with Joyce Kozloff, featured artist in both the exhibition and book, discuss their worlds of maps and art. A book signing will follow the talk. Seating is first come, first served.

Artist-led Gallery Talk: The Map as Art
11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 15
Main Gallery | FREE

Meet featured artists Robert Walden and Heidi Whitman as they offer observations and inspirations for their works of art on view in The Map as Art.

Scavenger Saturdays for Families
10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., Saturday, October 20
10:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m., Saturday, November 17
Exhibition Galleries | FREE

Clues, questions, and charts point children and adults in the right direction as they navigate through the exhibition The Map as Art. Young geographers who find their way can continue exploring with a special prize provided by Garmin. Scavenger Saturdays take place on every third Saturday of the month.

b.a.l.m. Maps the Kemper: Lines, Dots, and the Spaces in Between
7:00–9:00 p.m., Friday, October 26
Museum Grounds | FREE

The lawns of the Kemper Museum will be a glow-in-the-dark experience led by the Lawrence, Kansas-based artist alliance b.a.l.m. (beauty, art, and life movement). Activity stations will revolved aroudn themes of Refresh—Explore—Move. Find your way to the Museum to help create an open-air interactive environment!

Double Vision Lecture: Placemaking and GPS
Friday, November 16, Cash Bar: 5:00 p.m., Lecture: 6:00 p.m.
Meeting Room | FREE

In conjunction with The Map as Art, local sculptor and educator Bryan Park discusses his works and the idea that place is more than a location, and Prototype Model Maker David Ellis offers a look into how industrial design models help Garmin utilize form and function in their GPS devices. Seating for the lecture is first come, first served.

Artist Talk: Lordy Rodriguez: The Map is Not the Territory
Friday, January 18, Cash Bar: 5:00 p.m., Lecture: 6:00 p.m.
Meeting Room | FREE

The Map as Art artist Lordy Rodriguez will speak about his paintings that examine both geographic and cultural borders. Born in the Philippines, the artist has lived throughout the United States and is drawn to its shifting cultural boundaries. Seating for the lecture is first come, first served.

Double Vision Lecture: Borders and Boundaries
Friday, February 22, Cash Bar: 5:00 p.m., Lecture: 6:00 p.m.
Meeting Room | FREE

Tonya Hartman, associate professor of visual art at the University of Kansas, speaks about her embroidered, shieldlike sculptures that trace the journey of the Akoon family from South Sudan to America. Then, Amy Lobben, Ph.D., assistant professor of geography at the University of Oregon, Eugene, presents her research on spatial representations and working to develop tactile maps for the blind and partially sighted. Seating for the lectures is first come, first served.

Family Concert: Dino O'Dell, One World Many Songs
2:00 p.m., Sunday, March 3
Atrium | FREE

Explore The Map as Art and then go on an adventure around the world with musician Dino O'Dell. This geographical journey transports visitors to all seven continents and highlights details about each one. O'Dell sings of the world's longest river, the tallest mountain, and the largest desert.

College Night
6:00–9:00 p.m., Friday, April 12

Students, explore the neighborhood during this progressive, art-filled event. Position yourself at the Kemper Museum, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the Kansas City Art Institute for activities, entertainment, and treats.

Hours and Admission
The Kemper Museum (4420 Warwick Blvd.) is open 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Tuesday–Thursday; 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m., Friday–Saturday; and 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Sunday. Café Sebastienne serves lunch 11:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m., Tuesday–Sunday; and dinner 5:30–9:30 p.m., Friday–Saturday. The Museum and Café are closed on Mondays and major holidays. Kemper at the Crossroads (33 West 19th Street) is open noon–10:00 p.m., most First Fridays and noon–6:00 p.m. Saturday. The galleries of Kemper East (200 E. 44th Street) are open 10:00 a.m.–4 p.m., Tuesday–Friday.

Admission is free for all locations.

Thank you
The exhibition presenting sponsor is Garmin.

Support for Kemper Museum exhibitions is generously provided by Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee; Francis Family Foundation; Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts, Commerce Bank, Trustee; David Woods Kemper Memorial Foundation; William T. Kemper Foundation—Commerce Bank, Trustee; ArtsKC Fund—Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City; Sosland Foundation; and Sunderland Foundation.

For more general information about the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, visit


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