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
Louise Nevelson (1899–1988) described her work as existing in “the in-between place”—somewhere between painting and sculpture, demonstrating stylistic influences from both Cubism (structure, form, and monochromatic palette) and Abstract Expressionism (movement, presence, and large-scale compositions). Using an array of found wood materials, arranged and painted in monochrome, Nevelson’s work appears to transform shadow into solid shape.
Kemper Museum debuts the second in a series of commissioned atrium projects: a solo site-responsive installation by Firelei Báez (b. 1981, Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic; lives and works in New York). To See Beyond Its Walls (and access the places that lie beyond) combines a large-scale painting of a female figure with a reimagined interior of Sans-Souci Palace (1813) in northern Haiti, tracing conflicted histories and current political contexts of Hispaniola (the shared island of the Dominican Republic and Haiti) and America.
References from Western art history provide points of engagement with Kansas City and Chicago-based artist Patty Carroll’s photographic images, which employ distinctly modern elements of décor and consumerist culture to reveal psychological threads of domesticity’s sometimes overwhelming tenor.
Kemper Museum is pleased to present Nkame: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayón (1967–1999). This landmark retrospective is the first in the United States dedicated to the work of Belkis Ayón—the late Cuban visual artist who mined the founding myth of the Afro-Cuban fraternal society, Abakuá, to create an independent and powerful visual iconography.
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.
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.
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.