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Flesh Out

(exhibition)

Expressing the gendered, cultural, and generational concerns of fourth wave feminism, this group exhibition addresses the various modes of desire, fragmentation, and anxiety embedded within a culture of discrimination toward female-identifying and queer bodies. Enlisting the body as site, image, and/or tool, each artist suggests the possibility of a mended world through empathetic, vulnerable, and sometimes absurd gestures of self-preservation, courage, hope, and love.

Participating artists: Paige Nicole Gordon, Fuko Ito, Lueking Knabe, Isabella Matute, Lilly McElroy, Trish Nixon, Madison Mae Parker and Rye Lanae Boothe, Madelyn Stewart, Phoebe Varisco, and Lauren Louvel Louise Whitacre. Related programs included performances, a writing workshop, and a quilting workshop; and the exhibition facilitated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s equal opportunity training for the Neosho Fish Hatchery staff. Flesh Out was presented by UMKC Gallery of Art and UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Program to create platforms for discussion and action around sexual violence prevention.

 
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May god thy gold refine

(essay)

Garry Noland makes himself known as a jolly scrimshander of trash, incising psychedelic patterns, maps, and portals into polystyrene, pieces of cardboard, and stacks of old magazines. He weaves textiles and gilts objects gold with polyetheyne tape, creates mosaics with shining tesserae marbles, and confidently posits that monuments can be dredged from polluted urban lakes. He wears a vintage mohair cardigan and is quick with a bad/dad joke. He has a rigorous and sacred studio practice, to which he shows up daily and works diligently, letting the materials he sources from dumpsters, sidewalks, and his studio floor guide his process with an almost religious faith in their ability to reveal underlying truths.

Across his varied artistic practice, Noland cites the abutments between boundaries—whether formal or conceptual, historical or contemporary, playful or serious, grand or mundane—as a reflection of human interaction with art and with each other. The phrase “living in the moment” is as banal and easily dismissed as Noland’s raw materials, and it functions to describe his practice and the resulting presence of the objects and images he creates. With borders and frames that are often fugitive and contingent properties that literally and figuratively lean into one another, these works are charismatic instigators that implore viewers to engage actively with the present physical, social, political, and emotional spaces we inhabit.

 
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precipitating time

(exhibition and essay)

Since 1997, Charlotte Street Foundation’s Visual Artist Award has supported outstanding visual artists living in Kansas City through annual, unrestricted cash awards distributed directly to visual artists. These competitive awards recognize local artists who are creating outstanding artwork and show great accomplishment and promise by providing financial support, critical attention, and increased exposure with the aim of fostering their continued artistic and professional development. The 2018 Charlotte Street Foundation Visual Artist Awards exhibition featured new work by the 2018 Fellows: Marie Bannerot McInerney, Jarrett Mellenbruch, and Jillian Youngbird.

José Esparza Chong Cuy, Pamela Alper Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Joey Orr, Assistant Curator of Research at the Spencer Museum of Art, and Larry Ossei-Mensah, Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit joined Jennifer Baker, Assistant Curator at the H&R Block Artspace to conduct studio visits with 10 finalists and select the three award recipients.

 
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commonspace

(exhibition)

Modeled as an exhibition of community action, Commonspace facilitated “do-it-together” programs and events in collaboration with other institutions that considered how creativity, action, and information intersect. Commonspace hosted a myriad of activities organized by the H&R Block Artspace, collaborators, and the general public which included: guided meditations, town hall meetings, voter registration events, lawn sign-making workshops, reading groups, meetings, parties, and discussions. These programs created new bodies of knowledge, engaged audiences around issues of urgency and resonance, addressed media literacy, and brought together artists, scholars, activists, librarians, students, and political and cultural leaders for in-depth exploration into how information is gathered, processed, and shared.

 
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sexybeast

(public art project)

Leeah Joo is a Korean-American artist who explores cross-cultural experiences by combining Eastern and Western painting traditions to examine the act of looking. Her compositions often depict what is covered and/or what remains hidden. Presenting a vista of silk wrapped mountains and valleys, Sexybeast (2017) sets the stage for Korean folklore and history to unravel before a contemporary American experience. The drapery in this work is inspired by one of Kansas City’s most treasured American masterpieces Venus Rising from the Sea—A Deception by Raphaelle Peale:, which hangs in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Peale’s trompe l’oeil painting is the pinnacle of obfuscation both in its overt subject—a reinterpretation of John Barry’s 1772 painting Venus Anadyomene wherein Peale has painted a white sheet strategically hung to hide the nude Venus behind it—as well as in the evidence of an underpainting. During a Peale family exhibition in 1967, an underpainting with striking similarities to a portrait of Peale painted by his own father was discovered. The discovery of this pentimenti has lead historians to believe that Peale copied—and then painted over—his father’s work.

Peeking over the v-fold in Joo’s violet swathed hilltops is a traditional Korean goblin or dokkaebi in place of the Venus. The dokkaebi is a fearsome supernatural beast known for pranks that ultimately prove to be harmless. In this composition, the leering goblin stands in for a different example of patrilineal inheritance: Kim Jung Un, Supreme Leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). This conflation of a contemporary figure and mythological creature can be read as a painterly incantation or binding spell, wherein the artist marks the megalomaniacal leader as impotent to inflict any lasting harm.

 
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casting shadows

(exhibition)

The Kansas City Art Institute is home to faculty that are passionate about teaching because they are artists devoted to their craft and the continued growth of their artistic practice. The campus at large is a creative community made up of full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, and staff who work together contributing to a diverse landscape of talent and creativity. The 2017 KCAI Biennial Exhibition will include both faculty and staff members with a studio practice, focusing on sculptural exploration and uncovering the many ways that artists form ideas and give form to those ideas.

This exhibition was planned to coincide with The 27th International Sculpture Conference: Intersection + Identities being held in Kansas City on October 25-28, 2017 and featured work by Logan Acton, Marie Bannerot McInerney, Patricia Bordallo Dibildox, Jill Downen, Cary Esser, Cyan Meeks and Karen McCoy, Jarrett Mellenbruch, Il Sung Na, Liz Smith, Damien Spader, Natalie Spicker, Caleb Taylor, Pauline Verbeek-Cowart and Dwight Frizzell, and James Woodfill.

 
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you can’t make love to concrete

(exhibition and interview)

With a title inspired by Audre Lorde’s striking poem Making Love to Concrete, this exhibition positions three artists’ time-based works within an intimate space to explore the architecture of memory, oppression, and forgiveness. Catalina Ouyang’s poetic meditations on structure are carved and constructed from stone and bone, but they also contain more fragile organic elements that will slowly decompose over the course of the exhibition. Bret Schneider’s tactile sonic work refers to its own schematic imagery: the artist digitally runs saw waves through comb filters to create a pulsing aural illusion of synthetic verisimilitude. A site-responsive sculpture informed Marie Bannerot McInerney’s performative drawing gesture, which took place during the opening reception and acted to preserve the evidence of time passing. As an extension of the exhibition, these three artists collaborated on a gif that will resided in the advertising space of Temporary Art Review throughout the month of August. This exhibition was voted “Favorite Exhibition” in Nashville by Burnaway for 2017.

 
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state of the world

(exhibition and essay)

State of the World presents work by 14 artists whose projects invoke and explore the symbolic power of the flag as a means to understand and question the power structures they represent and, at times, create imaginative new proposals for alliances and allegiances. Employing artistic strategies including abstraction, representation, and performance, these artists investigate ideas relating to identity, alienation, nationalism, citizenship, signaling, and agency as they confront issues pertinent to global culture today and respond to social and political stress and unrest of our time.

State of the World offers a rich and complex story of the flag as a potent symbol and a marker of time, place, belief, union, and difference. While reminding us that shifts in larger systems often create turbulence, rifts, and possibilities for change, the artists invite us to think carefully about how we experience a sense of belonging, negotiate allegiances, and how we proclaim ourselves and our connectedness to the world around us. Participating artists: Vito Acconci, Sonya Clark, Edith Dekyndt, Mounir Fatmi, Komar & Melamid, Pedro Lasch, Lucy + Jorge Orta, Georgia Papageorge, Mike Sinclair, Allison Smith, James Woodfill, and Yara Said for The Refugee Nation

 
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SPEX Kickoff

(event)

The third annual St. Louis Small Press Expo kicked off with an opening event at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation that celebrated independent publishing and the art of the book. Demonstrations, performances, and appearances by innovators in the small press community were featured throughout the Pulitzer galleries, inviting connections between architecture, the art on view, and the book as form.

Featured works include: a performative reading by comic artist Marnie Galloway; live hand papermaking with Taller Leñateros; bookbinding demos with Sean Shearer of BOAAT Press; a dramatic reading of selection from La Petite Maison (The Little House, 1763) by Jean-François de Bastide in a gallery of 18th century decorative arts on loan from the J. Paul Getty Museum; a lecture performance by artist Chloë Bass; a talk on Claes Oldenburg’s drawing by artist and critical writer Buzz Spector; a vendor fair featuring publications from Brainfreeze Comics, neither/nor zine distro, and St. Louis Zine Club; as well as an interactive zine-making station hosted by The Moon Zine.

 
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ellipsis

(exhibition and essay)

Ellipsis invited visitors to listen, look, touch, taste, and pause—celebrating the senses and embracing a range of individual and collective experiences with art. The exhibition brought out unexpected variations in perception, interaction, and awareness, featuring works by Janet Cardiff, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Odilon Redon, Roman Ondák, John Bresland, Thylias Moss, and the debut of a commissioned work by John Lucas and Claudia Rankine, in addition to a rotating selection of works by Doris Salcedo, Jean (Hans) Arp, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Serra, Gedi Sibony, and Mark Rothko.

Like the grammatical mark that inspires its title, Ellipsis encourages audiences to both draw connections among individual works and linger in the spaces between them. This catalogue complements the exhibition through a series of essays that introduce and explore the works on view, with contributions by co-curators Tamara H. Schenkenberg, Kristin Fleischmann Brewer, Philip Matthews, and Jennifer Baker. The embossed cover evokes the textures and traces that are inherent to the exhibition, and color photographs reproduce all of the works on view.

 
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ventriculus: residue of subjectivity

(essay)

Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, this volume explores representations of skin in literature, art, art history, visual media, and medicine and its history. The essays collected here probe the symbolic potential of skin as a shifting sign in various historical and cultural contexts, and also examine the material and organic properties of the body's largest organ. They deal with skin as a sensual organ, as an interface or contact zone, as the visual marker of identity, and as a lieu de memoire in different periods and media. In its material characteristics, skin is regarded as a medium, a canvas, a surface, and an object of both artistic and medical investigations. The contributions investigate representations of skin in sculpture, painting, film, and fictional, as well as non-fictional, texts from the 16th century to the present. The topics addressed here include the problematic representation of racial identity via skin colour in various media; the sensual qualities of the skin, such as smell or taste; the form and function of tattoos as markers of personal, as well as collective, identity; and scars as signifiers of personal pain and collective suffering.