KANSAS CITY, MO.- The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
examines the concept of artists using pattern and dress to express their cultural identities in the exhibition Pattern ID, on view January 28May 8, 2011 at the Kemper Museum. The fifteen featured artists use photography, sculpture, painting, mixed media, and video to address themes of gender, race, culture, sexuality, and ethnicity. Pattern ID, organized by the Akron Art Museum, brings together forty works of art by fifteen artists from around the world.
Exhibition artists include Mark Bradford, (b. 1961, Los Angeles, CA); iona rozeal brown (b. 1966, Washington DC); Nick Cave (b. 1959, Jefferson City, MO); Willie Cole (b. 1955, Somerville, NJ); Lalla Essaydi (b. 1956, Marrakesh, Morocco); Samuel Fosso (b. 1962, Cameroon); James Gobel (b. 1972, Portland, Oregon); Brian Jungen (b. 1970, Fort St. John, British Columbia); Bharti Kher (b. 1969, London, England); Takashi Murakami (b. 1962, Tokyo, Japan); Grace Ndiritu (b. 1976, Birmingham, England); Yinka Shonibare MBE (b. 1962, London, England); Mickalene Thomas (b. 1971, Camden, NJ); Aya Uekawa (b. 1979, Tokyo, Japan); Kehinde Wiley (b. 1977, Los Angeles, CA).
Pattern IDs works of art interconnect geographic boundaries and condense time periods to represent a multi-cultural society. The artists seek to spark dialogue about cultural relations and reveal ways that identity is cumulative. These visual narratives of the artists personal and communal histories use an array of materials from felt and rhinestones to bindis and sports jerseys. The exhibition relates each work of art to art history, global politics, and the audience, showing interconnected cultural identities.
The artists use pattern and dress to take up the 21st-century challenge of locating ones place in society against the backdrop of globalization, said Ellen Rudolph, the Akron Art Museum curator of exhibitions. Many of the artists in the exhibition have migrated from one culture to another, be it national, ethnic, racial, sexual, socioeconomic, political, or religious. Rather than trade one identity for another, the artists in Pattern ID reveal ways in which identity can be cumulative.