Past Exhibitions

Artists exhibited include Polly Apfelbaum, Ken Aptekar, Christian Boltanski, Petah Coyne, Russell Crotty, Naomi Fisher, Till Freiwald, Jim Hodges, Alex Katz, Nikki S. Lee, Marco Maggi, Fairfield Porter, Lezley Saar, Shahzia Sikander, Do-Ho Suh, Robert Therrien, Wayne Thiebaud, Phoebe Washburn, Bruce Yonemoto, and many others.

Last 6 Months

7/7/17 to 2/25/18
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Stop / Motion is an exhibition of two-dimensional works from the Kemper Museum Permanent Collection that focus on the varying techniques used by artists to demonstrate both a sense of stillness and action. In addition to the figure present in each of these works, each artist’s composition reinforces either action or stasis.  

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11/10/17 to 2/11/18
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Spreading out from the galleries walls as if seeping from underneath the Museum’s infrastructure, Polly Apfelbaum’s Split (1998) pulses with color. The sculptural installation’s two—almost touching—forms spread like trickling paint across the floor. The forms and fabric blotted with color remind us of the stained canvases of such Color Field artists as Morris Louis, Dan Christensen, Helen Frankenthaler, and Kenneth Noland, featured alongside Apfelbaum’s work in this exhibition.

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6/16/17 to 1/28/18
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, in cooperation with the Kansas City Chapter of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), is proud to host Women to Watch | Metals June 16, 2017–January 28, 2018. 

The Women to Watch exhibition series features emerging or underrepresented artists from the states and countries in which NMWA has outreach committees. From the ornamental to the functional, this year’s exhibition explores metal as a medium.

Juried and curated by Kemper Museum Executive Director Barbara O’Brien.  

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10/5/17 to 1/7/18
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Every three years, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery invites artists across America to investigate the art of portraiture through The Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. Established in 2006, it is the premier national competition celebrating excellence and innovation in portraiture. 

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8/4/17 to 12/2/17

Using line, scale, and color, the works in this exhibition draw attention to selected aspects of an immense genre in contemporary painting: landscape. These painted landscapes of the horizon have great potential to blur distinctions between the world and our idea of the world, shaped by our own perspectives. Art historian Dave Hickey said of landscape art, “It is so attractive at a primitive personal and cultural level … that it is always difficult to decide whether a work is true to itself or only true to some old echoes within myself, some resonant private mythology.”

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9/15/17 to 12/2/17
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Reproducing the images and experience of nature is one of the great traditions of artmaking. Staging Nature explores, in works from the Permanent Collection of the Kemper Museum, some of the many ways that nature is inspiration and subject for artists. The human figure, animal forms, rolling landscapes, an animated universe of tumbling orbs, and crafted stage settings engage, delight, and challenge our perceptions and beg the question “What is real?”



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9/30/16 to 11/10/17
Kemper East

Characterized by fluid movements, gestural marks, and subjects inspired by music and dance, Free-Flowing celebrates the intuitive style in works from the Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection. 

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3/3/17 to 10/29/17
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

The Post-Impressionist group the Nabis ended their correspondence between members signing, “E.T.P.M.V. et M.P.,” standing for a French phrase “En ta paume, mon verbe et ma pensée” (“In the palm of your hand, my words and my thoughts”), emphasizing their interest in the symbolic resonance of their work. In this exhibition, this title phrase denotes the connection between works of art and statements written about the artists’ work and practice. In the Palm of Your Hand, My Words and My Thoughts present a selection of portraiture from the Kemper Museum Permanent Collection.

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Past Exhibitions