Posts Tagged ‘Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art’

David Bates: The Katrina Paintings at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, May 21-August 22, 2010.  Alice Thorson has written about the exhibit in the Kansas City Star.  You’ll also recall that Bates was one of the artists named by Roberta Smith as under-recognized in her challenge to NY museums and curators a month or two ago in the NY Times.


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Vincent Desiderio, Soaking, 2005, oil on linen, 71.5″ x 78.5″, in the collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City.  The painting can be seen in the exhibit Volunteer Voices:  Selections from the Collection of the Kemper Museum until April 25, 2010.  More Vincent Desiderio.

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Jaimie Warren:  You Are So Beautiful In The Face, June 5-October 3, 2009.

(link to artist’s site)

There is one sentence from the Kemper’s synopsis of this show that I think is critical:  While her portraits and close-ups of food invoke photographers Diane Arbus, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman, and Nikki S. Lee, among others, Warren’s photographs are uniquely her own in their strategic balance of artifice and authenticity, subtly conjuring all of the inconsistencies, ironies, and hilariously awkward moments that permeate everyday life.

So here’s how I’m reading this, Jaimie Warren works within a received aesthetic, and she takes on the topics and  issues of this aesthetic but there is this idiosyncratic re-shuffling of the deck that happens, just because she is her and she is not Cindy Sherman or Nikki Lee.  The artwork is worthwhile because Warren is building her own house of cards with someone else’s deck and it’s not built quite the same way—it’s a similar shape and structure, but not identical.  Just what is gained or lossed working this way, I wonder?

Admittedly, the lo-fi quality to this work is probably responsible for make the questions of  uniqueness and originality so relevant to me.  I do recommend reading the essay by James Yood on the first link; he’s able to get to the slightly trashy, sometimes icky fun of these while wrangling with the question of influence.

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