“Aliza Nisenbaum: Aquí Se Puede (Here You Can)” to open at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

“Aliza Nisenbaum: Aquí Se Puede (Here You Can)” to open at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

The new commissioned Atrium Project installation by New York-based Mexican-American artist Aliza Nisenbaum (born Mexico City, 1977) features three painted portraits of individuals connected to Kansas City-area salsa dance and music communities. On view beginning August 19, 2021 through July 31, 2022.

KANSAS CITY, MO—Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is pleased to announce “Aliza Nisenbaum: Aquí Se Puede (Here You Can),” the sixth annual Atrium Project exhibition. For nearly a year, New York-based Mexican-American artist Aliza Nisenbaum has been getting to know four individuals connected to Kansas City’s salsa dance and music communities virtually, which informed the three newly commissioned portraits that depict them in their creative environments.

This series of paintings will debut at Kemper Museum on Thursday, August 19, 2021, with an artist talk at the museum (and available virtually) and opening celebration coordinated by one of the portrait subjects, DJ Luis featuring dance performances by Viva Dance Studio and Hugo’s Latin Movement as well as music by DJ Luis and his Live Percussions. 

Aliza Nisenbaum is known for her brightly-colored paintings and community-based approach to portraiture. Nisenbaum has exhibited her work across the world, working with locals in each city—from Immigrant Movement International members in Queens, NY to staff of the Liverpool Alder Hey Children’s Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The opportunity to connect Nisenbaum with key voices from the Greater Kansas City salsa community created energized discussions and have resulted in a fantastic group of paintings that speak to the importance of music, dance, and community during times of joy and especially during difficult moments,” said Erin Dziedzic, director of curatorial affairs at Kemper Museum. “These individuals, so beautifully depicted by Nisenbaum with tremendous painting techniques and a virtuosic eye for color, held the history, spirit, and desire for dance and music close throughout the global pandemic. Together, they demonstrate moments of appreciation, joy, and love for salsa in their lives and the practice of sharing it on many platforms.”

The Kansas City-based individuals portrayed in this series include a DJ from El Salvador,  a pair of partners who met in one’s home city of Havana, Cuba where the other was studying the Cuban Tres guitar, and a longtime dancer, teacher, and mentor to new people on the Kansas City dance scene who are drawn to salsa. Their eight months of virtual conversations with the artist have resulted in portraits that embody the personality, interests, and energy of each individual and their relationship to salsa dance and music.

This exhibition is organized by Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and curated by Erin Dziedzic, director of curatorial affairs at Kemper Museum.

ABOUT THE ARTIST
Aliza Nisenbaum (born 1977, Mexico City) is known for her brightly-colored paintings and community-based approach to portraiture. Nisenbaum has exhibited her work across the world, working with locals in each city—from Immigrant Movement International members in Queens, NY to staff of the Liverpool Alder Hey Children’s Hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Tate Liverpool and the Minneapolis Institute of Art and group exhibitions at The Drawing Center, New York, NY; Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), São Paulo, Brazil; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; and Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, NY. Major public commissions include the Art of the Underground Public Commission in London, United Kingdom. Nisenbaum attended the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico, and earned her B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

ABOUT KEMPER MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
Located in Kansas City, MO, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art exhibits, collects, and educates in a free and welcoming environment for all. The museum’s growing Permanent Collection aims to reflect the vitality, complexity, and unfolding patterns within modern and contemporary art and culture. Special exhibitions, installations, lectures, and workshops, as well as youth, teen, and intergenerational programs provide resources for communities to engage with the issues of our time, derive inspiration, discover outlets for self-expression and dialogue, learn directly from living artists, and bring deeper meaning to their lives. Admission, programs, and parking are always free. kemperart.org | @kempermuseum

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For high-resolution images and general media inquiries please contact:

Louise Forster
Marketing and Communications Manager
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
lforster@kemperart.org | 816-457-6132 (direct)

Images: left: Aliza Nisenbaum (Mexican-American, born 1977), Dálida and Michael (Serenata del Tres Cubano), 2021, oil on canvas, 64 x 57 x 1¼ inches. Art and image © Aliza Nisenbaum. center: Aliza Nisenbaum (Mexican-American, born 1977), DJ Luis, 2021, oil on canvas, 64 x 57 x 1¼ inches. Art and image © Aliza Nisenbaum. right: Aliza Nisenbaum (Mexican-American, born 1977), Sheree, 2021, oil on canvas, 64 x 57 x 1¼ inches. Art and image © Aliza Nisenbaum.