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

9/11/20 to 7/18/21
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Kemper Museum’s fifth commissioned installation in the Atrium Projects series is Divergences by Dominican Republic-raised New York-based Black Latinx artist Joiri Minaya (born 1990). Minaya’s work often focuses on decolonizing imposed histories, cultures, and ideas. For this Atrium Project installation, she was inspired by the idealized Midwest, complete with lush greenery and river scenes, having made a site visit to Quindaro Townsite in January 2020.

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10/29/19 to 5/30/21
Kemper East

Please note that Kemper East is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19.

All first-year medical students from Kansas City University participate in the Art, Observation, and Medicine (AOM) course at Kemper Museum. Guided by volunteer docents, students analyze select works of art using the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) method. VTS uses research-based methodology prompting viewers to work together to solve complicated visual puzzles, beginning with the question, “What is going on in this work of art?” 

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2/18/21 to 5/16/21
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Speaking to Relatives is a major solo exhibition of mixed-media works by Minneapolis-based artist Dyani White Hawk (Sičáŋǧu Lakota, born 1976). This ten-year survey of painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation presents White Hawk’s unique merging of the visual language of abstraction with Lakota art forms. Her work expresses a shared formal and conceptual practice and acknowledges the significance of Indigenous art as American art.

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1/15/21 to 4/25/21
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Abstract Expressionism is a form of abstract art developed by American painters in the 1940s and 1950s with several different subcategories, including Action painting and what would later be called Color Field painting. Pop art was an American movement that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s, drawing inspiration from sources in commercial and popular culture. Dan Budnik (American, 1933–2020) photographed Abstract Expressionists and Pop artists in their studios during the height of these artistic movements.

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12/18/20 to 4/4/21
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Photographer Dan Budnik (American, 1933–­2020) was known for his documentary photography, especially of changes taking root in America in the 1960s civil rights movement. He studied at the Art Students League in New York with Charles Alston (American, 1907–1977), the first African American supervisor for the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project. Budnik credited Alston for his interest in documentary photography.

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10/10/20 to 3/7/21
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

This exhibition of the work of Chicago-based photographer and educator Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953) features selections from his recent black-and-white photographic series Night Coming Tenderly, Black. These images reimagine sites along the last stops of the Underground Railroad from Cleveland and Hudson, Ohio, to Canada, a free country for self-liberated African people. Bey finds inspiration for this series in the soft tones and significant subjects—African Americans and New York City jazz musicians among them—depicted by photographer Roy DeCarava (1919–2009).

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8/11/20 to 1/31/21
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

The first major museum exhibition to focus on the work of contemporary artist Elias Sime (Ethiopian, born 1968), Tightrope features more than two dozen works of art in varying scales and showcases brightly-colored tableaux and sculptural assemblages rooted in both the figurative and abstract modes of modern Ethiopian art.

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Past Exhibitions