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?”
Diario is the debut of a new, commissioned installation by New York-based artist Angel Otero (b. 1981), the fourth in a series of Atrium Projects at Kemper Museum. The artist’s largest painting to date, Diario underscores the personal and universal significance of leaving a mark somewhere.
This/That brings to light ways of understanding art by methods of comparing and contrasting. Curated by the Kemper Teen Arts Council, the exhibition displays works of art from Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection in pairs to encourage purposeful analyses and conversations. The Kemper Teen Arts Council has worked to create a space within the gallery that encourages questions and includes interactive elements that allow viewers to analyze these works of art in a meaningful and accessible way.
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is pleased to host the 2019 Charlotte Street Visual Artist Awards exhibition, presenting recent works by three Kansas City-based artists: Boi Boy, Megan Pobywajlo, and Fatimah Tuggar. A jury of arts professionals selected the artists to receive this prestigious award as a testament to their practice and achievements in the visual arts. Each artist has risen to the challenge of presenting a selection of new work and expanding individual presentation methods at Kemper Museum.
Hew Locke: Here’s the Thing is the most comprehensive exhibition to date of work by British artist Hew Locke and involves a wide range of media: painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, and installation. Locke explores the languages of colonial and postcolonial power and the symbols through which different cultures assume and assert identity. Activating his awareness of colonial impact, Locke modifies historical source material and artifacts to focus attention on the United Kingdom, its monarchy, and his (then newly independent) childhood home of Guyana in South America.
Marcus Jansen (American, b. 1968) finds inspiration in the world around him. Regarded as a pioneer of “urban landscape painting,” Jansen uses his upbringing in both the United States and Germany, and places he was stationed during his time in the army, as influence for his paintings. Drawing inspiration from New York Abstract Expressionism as well as graffiti, Pop art, and Surrealism, Jansen employs practices from these art forms to create paintings that make social commentary.
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, in cooperation with the Kansas City chapter of National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), is proud to host Paper Routes—Women to Watch 2020. This exhibition series features emerging or underrepresented artists from the states and countries in which NMWA has outreach committees.
BioNexus KC’s annual Science to Art exhibition is a presentation of intrinsic images found in science. The purpose of Science to Art is to provide a platform for regional 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 fieldwork performed by the scientists and their teams. These images were submitted by scientists from Columbia, Missouri to Manhattan, Kansas.
Lexicon: The Language of Gesture in 25 Years at Kemper Museum celebrates artists who have shaped the exhibiting and collecting history of Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art since its founding in 1994. For twenty-five years, Kemper Museum has presented ambitious exhibitions guided by an artist-centric spirit while fulfilling its mission to enrich lives through the experience of contemporary art.
Child’s Play: An Exploration of Adolescence situates contemporary works of art from Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection in conversation with concepts brought forth by neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud (Austrian, 1856–1939). Freud suggested that humans can trace their compulsions back to their childhood. From this idea, Child’s Play explores artists’ depictions of children, their relationships with those around them, and with the world.
Sweet On is a site-responsive installation by Texas-born, New Jersey-based artist Paul Henry Ramirez. Ramirez drew inspiration for this work from a quotation attributed to R. Crosby Kemper Jr. (1927–2014) in the anniversary publication Marking 20 Years: Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art: “Joy is to be surrounded by beauty.”
Color Application presents select works of art from Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection in a companion exhibition to Polly Apfelbaum: Waiting for the UFOs (a space set between a landscape and a bunch of flowers), currently on view in the Charlotte Crosby Kemper Gallery. Color Application explores artists’ methods of incorporating color, relating them to Apfelbaum’s succinctly colorful works, and creating a direct conversation between the works in the two exhibitions.
Abstracted Wonders: The Power of Lines presents a selection of abstract works from Kemper Museum’s Permanent Collection. The featured artists employ artistic approaches from kinetic art, geometric abstraction, Color Field, and Op (optical) art. Geometry and patterns in geography like those made by land and water inform horizontal, vertical, and perpendicular lines in these two- and three-dimensional works.
Kemper Museum presents a major exhibition of works by internationally-renowned New York-based artist Polly Apfelbaum (American, born 1955). Featuring textiles, ceramics, and works on paper, Apfelbaum’s artistic practice branches out into broader social and historical contexts, and is situated in the legacy of post-war American art.
Flaw(less) explores themes of identity, stereotypes, and perception across cultures in works from the Kemper Museum Permanent Collection. These works, dating from 1920 to 2013, present an opportunity to consider our shared experiences in the ways we present ourselves, how we are perceived, and what we may consider to be flaws in our appearance as we are subjected to the gaze of others through generations.
In this Moment presents figural works of art from the Kemper Museum Permanent Collection that feature a range of techniques used to convey subtle gestures, instances of stillness, and contemplative states. Sally Michel Avery’s Long Nude (ca. 1976) references traditional representations of rest, showing the figure lying horizontally and elongated across the composition. In David Bates’s 97th Street Pier (1992), the figures on the wooden dock are angular, their limbs creating sharp right angles and triangular shapes throughout the composition.
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is proud to present Angela Dufresne: Making a Scene, a major museum exhibition comprising of more than thirty paintings and video works spanning nearly a decade. Focusing on her signature depictions of modern life, Dufresne (b. 1969) compositionally connects us to the history of painting and cinema.