Exhibition

Encountering the City: The Urban Experience in Contemporary Art

September 12, 2014 - January 4, 2015
Garen Gallery

Encountering the City: The Urban Experience in Contemporary Art investigates aesthetic engagement with the urban landscape and the experiential impact of contemporary built environments. Encompassing a wide range of media—painting, sculpture, photography, and video—Encountering the City brings together significant works by internationally renowned artists from the Museum’s permanent collection as well as from public and private collections, including Franz Ackermann, Isa Genzken, Jakob Kolding, Sarah Morris, Gary Simmons, and Wolfgang Tillmans, among others. Many of the artworks on view probe the relationship between art and architecture, from critical responses to the failed aspirations of modernist architectural practice, to evolving conceptions of place and space as they connect to themes of globalization and urbanism. Other projects focus on the material fabric of particular built environments (New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, and Beijing) and how the aesthetics of a city are informed by its cultural, commercial, and political configurations. Although diverse in material and approach, all of the artworks in the exhibition suggest different ways of inhabiting and viewing the world around us, provoking us to question how we live and how we understand ourselves within our perpetually evolving surroundings.

Support for Encountering the City: The Urban Experience in Contemporary Art is provided by James M. Kemper, Jr.; the David Woods Kemper Memorial Fountation; the William T. Kemper Foundation; and members of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. The exhibition is curated by Meredith Malone, associate curator. 

Image Credits

Gary Simmons, Plaza Inferno Grid, 2008. Oil and pigment on six pieces of gessoed paper, 102 x 67 1/2" (overall). Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis. University purchase, Bixby Fund, 2012.

Jakob Kolding, How to Build a Universe that Falls Apart Two Days Later, 2014 (detail). Installation of offset printed posters, 33 1/16 x 23 3/8" each, overall dimensions variable. Courtesy of Team Gallery, New York. 

Sarah Morris, still from Los Angeles, 2004. 35mm film, 26:12 min. Courtesy of the artist and Parallax, New York. 

Isa Genzken, Little Crazy Column, 2002. Reflective glass, holographic foil, and tape on fiberboard support, 102 3/8 x 12 3/16 x 12 3/16". Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis. University purchase, Charles H. Yalem Art Fund, 2003. 

Andreas Gursky, Beijing, 2010. Inkjet print, 120 7/8 x 83 7/8" (framed). Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis. University purchase with funds from the David Woods Kemper Memorial Foundation, 2012. © 2014 Andreas Gursky/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. 

Andrea Zittel, Wall Sprawl #6 (Between Enterprise and Henderson), 2011 (installation view). Inject on J15 Blueback paper, dimensions, variable. Courtesy of Regen Projects, Los Angeles, and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. © Andrea Zittel. 

 

Encountering the City Education Guide