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

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

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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6/8/17 to 9/17/17
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today introduces the work of more than twenty exceptional artists in conversation with one another for the first time.

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7/21/17 to 9/3/17

The Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute’s (KCALSI) fourth annual Science to Art exhibition features intrinsic images found in biomedical research, which is often displayed on research journal covers. The purpose of Science to Art is to provide a platform for scientists to display and describe their research through the visual arts. Each of these remarkable images tells a personal research story and poetically captures the research performed by the scientists and their teams.

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1/20/17 to 7/9/17

Featuring Artists: Nicole Awai, Elizabeth Huey, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Susanne Kühn, Robyn O’Neil, Lisa Sanditz

This exhibition brings together works from the Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection that represent dream-like worlds cloaked in mystery. The artists make the familiar seem unfamiliar by distorting space and suffusing their fantastical scenes with characters seemingly caught between this world and another.

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8/19/16 to 6/25/17
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

José Lerma, Spanish-born, Chicago-based artist, presents a commissioned site-responsive project for a prominent location in the Kemper Museum Atrium. Upon visiting the Kemper Museum and Kansas City, the artist found inspiration within the art upon the walls of the Museum and the architecture within the surrounding community.

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12/23/16 to 6/25/17
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

The inspiration for patterns is all around us—from concentric circles rippling from a stone thrown into the water to camouflaged bodies of plants, insects, and animals. Patterns provide elements of texture, elegance, drama, and style that illuminate an artist’s concept. The expressions of everyday life and vibrantly abstracted forms presented in Pattern Scheme evoke qualities of time, balance, repetition, focus, and design that emerge from the unique styles, subjects, and stories of each artist, connected through their varying use of pattern.

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6/17/16 to 6/11/17
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Deconstructing Robert Mangold brings together an extraordinary range of conceptual, formal, and social connections between American Minimalist Robert Mangold (1937–) and other artists from the Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection. Seven of Mangold’s original woodcuts, Untitled A through G (2000) and Curved Plane Figure III (1995), are presented in dialogue with works by his contemporaries: Immovable Iconography (1990) by Nancy Graves (1939–1995) and Roses and Roofs (1987) by Janet Fish (1938–).

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Past Exhibitions