On some level, I am continually doing this to myself. If I would take a moment to check the hours before making the trek!
This week, I had the honor to host Claudia Trimbur-Pagel, a German glass artist from France who came to teach in my humble glass school this past weekend. I had great hopes to show her the world class art collection housed at the Nelson Gallery here in Kansas City before she had to head off to the next part of her journey in the US. Much to my surprise, the Nelson is not open on Tuesdays. Lucky for us, the Kemper Museum was open and welcoming. We were able to view the current exhibition entitled “Dressed Up”. It was a delightful collection of work from 4 artists. I love the Kemper because of its smaller size, you feel you have time to ‘consume’ it all, without rushing, fighting crowds and you really have time with each piece to examine it fully.
Claudia’s favorites were from an American artist from New York named Hope Gangloff. I would have to agree with Claudia that her work was fresh and thought provoking. Here is a photo of Claudia with one piece, so you can imagine the scale:
The paintings are large and each canvas is filled with the image of a Caucasian woman with luminous skin. The images seem pensive, the subjects lost in their own thoughts. My favorite is the artists modern version of Salome:
This new Salome has all the historical and biblical references you would expect for an artist tackling this narrative but I love the way she cleverly understates the knife. It is on the outer edge of the canvas, easy to miss as the subject contemplates the messy business she is about to carry out. The beheading of St. John the Baptist. Her breast is slightly showing to foreshadow how she intends to convince the King to make her deadly request happen.
I also liked Gangloff’s Vio et Livres. Her subject is slightly curled up in a chair in what appears to be a personal library. The books arranged in a hap-hazard manner, just like at home. Claudia mentioned that Anglo-Saxon books have the title printed on the spine in the opposite direction as in France. So, the library is likely owned by an English – reading person.
The exhibition also included some work by Nigerian born artist Marcia Kure. She now resides in New Jersey. Her work is compelling because she uses hip-hop images with pop culture or personal photographs to make a skewed look at fashion iconery. (If there is such a word). Here is my favorite:
Lastly, a photographer, Indian born but based in London, Neeta Madahar exhibited her photos of her friends in thought provoking situations, mostly with flowers and called her ‘Fiora’ series. The images were well done but somehow less impactful as those of photographer Daniela Edburg (The ‘death by’ series). Edburg is one of my favorite of this genre and I found it hard to give Neeta Madahar a break. Her work is good, just not my cup of tea. Here is one of the best:
“Dressed UP’ at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is now through April 27, 2014
More info here: https://www.kemperart.org/exhibits/current.asp