Adam Cvijanovic: American Montage

Adam Cvijanovic: American Montage

Kemper Museum Presents Adam Cvijanovic: American Montage
Opens May 15, 2015 at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri

KANSAS CITY – March 13, 2015 – In May, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art will present American Montage, the first solo museum exhibition for Brooklyn-based artist Adam Cvijanovic. Cvijanovic (pronounced svee-YAHN-o-vitch) emerged to international attention as part of the America Today exhibition at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2007. The following year his work was featured in the Liverpool Biennial, Tate Liverpool, in the United Kingdom and in the widely acclaimed PROSPECT.1, New Orleans Biennial. American Montage will be on view from May 15 through September 20, 2015, at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri. Admission is free.

American Montage draws on Brooklyn-based artist Adam Cvijanovic’s merging of influences from nineteenth-century American landscape painting and twentieth-century cinematic techniques. The exhibition features installations and paintings on his signature Tyvek surfaces from the past fifteen years. Cvijanovic’s methods of fracturing, cutting, layering, and sequencing imagery to collapse space, time, and narrative demonstrate a montage of American visual perspective. The exhibition premiers three new works: Flint Hills (2015), inspired by the artist’s site visit in fall 2014; Hollywood and Sunset (2014–15) his reintroduction of the figure in almost a decade; and The Fall (Capri) (2015), Cvijanovic’s first work to include a soundtrack.

“The idea (of the soundtrack),” says Cvijanovic, “is that the paintings function as parts of a symphony orchestra. They are playing strands of a piece of music in a way that has a temporal read to it. When you’re hearing this text, everything becomes super narrative, like you’re watching a movie or a slide show, and the gallery itself becomes a kind of envelope of all time. And then when you look suddenly at the images with just the linear context and no soundtrack, the odd thing that happens (when I’ve tested it) is that they feel like memories.”

Among the 13 works on view, the exhibition will also include Cvijanovic’s monumentally iconic Belshazzar’s Feast, 2008. This work is comprised of nine 16 ½-foot-high free-standing wooden panels, and takes inspiration from D. W. Griffith’s 1916 epic silent-film Intolerance, in particular the narrative’s climax that unfolds in the court of ancient Babylon. This pivotal film and elaborately designed film set has been an ongoing source of inspiration for Cvijanovic since 2007.

Adam Cvijanovic: American Montage is organized by Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art’s Curator and Head of Adult Programs Erin Dziedzic, with support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Many programs, including a talk by Cvijanovic on May 15, at 6:00 p.m., have been organized in conjunction with the exhibition. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue featuring an interview with Dan Cameron (chief curator, Orange County Museum of Art, California) and essay by Dziedzic. Exhibition and catalogue is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Visit to view all scheduled programs and times.  All Kemper Museum programs are free.


Born, 1960 in Cambridge, MA. He has previously exhibited at UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art, Philadelphia; PROSPECT.1, New Orleans; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK; Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China; The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia; Mass MOCA, North Adams, MA; Queens Museum, Queens, NY; Yale University Museum, New Haven, CT; and the New Museum, New York. Cvijanovic lives and works in New York, where he is represented by Postmasters Gallery.


Opening and Artist Talk: Adam Cvijanovic
Friday, May 15, 5:00–7:00 p.m. cash bar, 6:00 p.m. artist talk
Brooklyn-based artist Adam Cvijanovic discusses nineteenth- and twentieth-century visual art, architecture, and cinematic themes present in his paintings and installations. Also enjoy live improvisational electronica music by Kansas City-based Mnemosyne Quartet, responding to themes in American Montage in the atrium and docent guides in the exhibition throughout the evening.

Curator-led tour: American Montage
Friday, June 12, 5:00 p.m.
Join Kemper Museum Curator and Head of Adult Programs Erin Dziedzic in the Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery for a curator-led tour of Adam Cvijanovic: American Montage.

Artist Talk: Environmental Histories
Friday, September 18, 5:00 p.m. cash bar, 6:00 p.m. artist talk
Artist and member of the experimental film platform SPECTRA, Timothy Amundson presents his project The Turkey Creek Institute For Phenomenal Awareness, an effort to highlight the Kansas creek as a place for engagement and inspiration.

Sunday Cinema: American Montage
This three-part Sunday Cinema series, curated by artist Adam Cvijanovic, is presented in conjunction with his exhibition American Montage. These films represent major influences on both American film and the artist’s contemporary art practice.

Sunday, June 7, 1:00 p.m.
Buster Keaton Shorts
One Week (1920, 25 min.), The Frozen North (1922, 17 min.), The Electric House (1922, 23 min.)
A pioneer in writing, acting, and directing in the silent film era, Buster Keaton’s short films are a major inspiration for Cvijanovic’s paintings. As important as D. W. Griffith as a film pioneer and inventor of cinematic language, Keaton injected his pictures with spaces that reflected the pathos of American life.

Sunday, July 12, 1:00 p.m.
The Searchers (directed by John Ford, 1956, 119 min.)
An unsettling Western that addresses racial hatred in American history, this  story, driven by John Wayne’s anti-hero, is set against the ever-changing American landscape. Cvijanovic selects this work for Ford’s directorial ability to align the painful story with the equally relentless harshness of the landscape.

Sunday, August 9, 1:00 p.m.
Chinatown (directed by Roman Polanski, 1974, 130 min.)
Los Angeles, a city already precarious in its desert location where no city should logically exist, is the site for Polanski’s noir crime drama. The city is seen as even more impermanent as wealthy crooks work to divert scarce water resources. Jack Nicholson’s character, J. J. Gittes, takes on an adultery case that becomes a meditation on the city itself.

Image credit: Adam Cvijanovic, Nuart, 2006; Flashe and latex on Tyvek, 180 x 360 inches; Collection of Christopher Hamick. © Adam Cvijanovic. Photograph courtesy of Rik Sferra, 2006



Kansas City’s renowned FREE contemporary art museum, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art opened in October 1994 and draws 120,000 visitors each year. The Museum boasts a rapidly growing Permanent Collection that uniquely bridges modern and contemporary works of art featuring artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Helen Frankenthaler, Willem de Kooning, Georgia O’Keeffe, Keltie Ferris, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Richard Mosse, and Ursula von Rydingsvard.  The Museum hosts special exhibitions, installations, lectures, as well as children and families programs and workshops.

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (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 5:30–9:00 p.m., Friday–Saturday. The Museum and Café are closed on Mondays and major holidays. Kemper at the Crossroads (33 W. 19th Street) is open 5:00–9:00 p.m., Friday; noon to 4:00 p.m., Saturday, and the galleries at Kemper East (200 E. 44th Street) are open 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Tuesday–Friday. Admission is free at all three locations.


Support for the Kemper Museum is generously provided by members and donors, especially: ArtsKC; Bartlett & Co. Grain Charitable Foundation; The H&R Block Foundation; Curry Family Foundation; DST Systems, Inc.; Francis Family Foundation; Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee; Marilyn and Jim Hebenstreit; Karen and Jack Holland; Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation; Enid and Crosby Kemper Foundation, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee; David Woods Kemper Memorial Foundation; William T. Kemper Charitable Trust, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee; Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation; Robert W. Plaster Foundation; Harry Portman Charitable Trust, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee; The Sosland Foundation; Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts; Jo Ann and William Sullivan; Women’s Foundation; and the Thomas and Sally Wood Family Foundation. Financial Assistance for this project has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit

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