Kemper Museum awarded $50,000 grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation

Kemper Museum awarded $50,000 grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation

Media Room

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – January 4, 2017—Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the award of a $50,000 grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in support of Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today. This upcoming exhibition is scheduled to open at the Kemper Museum June 8 through September 17, 2017 with opportunities to travel thereafter. Magnetic Fields is organized by Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, and co-curated by Erin Dziedzic, Director of Curatorial Affairs at Kemper Museum, and Melissa Messina, Independent Curator and Curator of the Mildred Thompson Estate, Atlanta, Georgia.

This award marks the first grant from the Warhol Foundation to the Kemper Museum, and the second major grant in support of Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today. Last month, the exhibition received news of an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

"The exhibition Magnetic Fields has proven to be historic for the Kemper Museum both in content and support," said Executive Director Barbara O’Brien. "The unprecedented grant support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts contributes to the groundswell of interest and enthusiasm received for the theme, artists, and works of art organized for this extraordinary exhibition. The Museum staff and I are honored to include this prestigious Foundation among our valued contributors.”

About The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts’ grantmaking activity is focused on serving the needs of artists by funding the institutions that support them. Grants are made for scholarly exhibitions at museums; curatorial research; visual arts programming at artist-centered organizations; artist residencies and commissions; arts writing; and efforts to promote the health, welfare and first amendment rights of artists.

Grants are made on a project basis to curatorial programs at museums, artists' organizations, and other cultural institutions to originate innovative and scholarly presentations of contemporary visual arts. Projects may include exhibitions, catalogues, and other organizational activities directly related to these areas. The program also supports the creation of new work through regranting initiatives and artist-in-residence programs.

About the Exhibition

Magnetic Fields marks the first U.S. presentation dedicated exclusively to the formal and historical dialogue of abstraction by women artists of color.

In the June 2014 ARTnews article “Black Abstraction: Not a Contradiction,” Hilarie M. Sheets aptly notes, “The contributions of African American artists to the inventions of abstract [art] have historically been overlooked…” Magnetic Fields expands this historical conception with a focus on nonrepresentational art-making by women artists of color. In so doing, it reframes theart historical narrative to convey a more complete presentation of American abstraction than has ever previously been examined. Intergenerational in scope, Magnetic Fields presents a select group of prolific creators born between 1891 (Alma Thomas) and 1981 (Abigail DeVille) whose work demands deeper examination and collectively demonstrates a broader interpretation of American abstract art-making from the last half-century.

The exhibition introduces the work of twenty-one exceptional artists in conversation with one another for the first time. With works in a range of media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and drawing, the exhibition showcases a diverse range of unique visual vocabularies within non-representational expression. By highlighting the artists’ individual approaches to form, color, composition, material exploration and conceptual impetus within hard-edge and gestural abstraction, Magnetic Fields provides an expanded history of non-pictorial image- and object-making.

"Magnetic Fields amplifies the lives and work of twenty-one extraordinary artists whose dedication to non-representational art making contributes to the reframing of American abstraction,” said Director of Curatorial Affairs Erin Dziedzic. “Intergenerational in scope, the exhibition is conceptually grounded in illuminating the formal conversations amongst the artists' works from the 1960s to the present."

Magnetic Fields features a range of works, including early and later career examples, those of specific series, several exhibited for the first time, and the long-awaited reappearance of iconic works such as Mavis Pusey’s large-scale painting Dejyqea (1970) in The Whitney’s 1971 exhibition Contemporary Black Artists In America. Also drawn in part from the Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection, the exhibition features Chakaia Booker’s rubber tire sculpture El Gato (2001).

An exhibition advisory group has been assembled to engage in broader dialogue throughout the planning of the exhibition. A variety of thought-provoking educational programming has been designed to complement the themes within Magnetic Fields, and will be offered free of charge to engage learners of all ages. A complete list of Museum programs and times relating to this exhibition can soon be found at kemperart.org.

Exhibiting Artists

Candida Alvarez (b. 1955)
Chakaia Booker (b. 1953)
Lilian Thomas Burwell (b. 1927)
Nanette Carter (b. 1954)
Barbara Chase-Riboud (b. 1939)
Deborah Dancy (b. 1949)
Abigail DeVille (b. 1981)
Maren Hassinger (b. 1947)
Jennie C. Jones (b. 1968)
Evangeline “EJ” Montgomery (b. 1933)
Mary Lovelace O’Neal (b. 1942)
Howardena Pindell (b. 1943)
Mavis Pusey (b. 1928)
Shinique Smith (b. 1971)
Gilda Snowden (b. 1954, d. 2014)
Sylvia Snowden (b. 1942)
Kianja Strobert (b. 1980)
Betty Blayton Taylor (b. 1937, d. 2016)
Alma Thomas (b. 1891, d. 1978)
Mildred Thompson (b. 1936, d. 2003)
Brenna Youngblood (b. 1979)

Image Credit: Mildred Thompson, Magnetic Fields  (triptych), 1990, oil on canvas, 70.5 x 150 inches. Courtesy of the Estate of Mildred Thompson, Atlanta, GA

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About Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Kansas City’s renowned FREE contemporary art museum, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art opened in October 1994 and draws 100,000 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. Special exhibitions, installations, lectures, as well as children, teen, and family programs and workshops are hosted at the Museum regularly.

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

Admission is free at all three Kemper Museum locations.

For more information about the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, visit kemperart.org.

For high-resolution images or media inquiries please contact:
Kent Michael Smith, Director of Marketing and Communications
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
ksmith@kemperart.org | 816-457-6132

 

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