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, Doug Hall, Jakob Kolding, Sarah Morris, Gary Simmons, and Wolfgang Tillmans, among others. Many of the artworks on view probe the relationship between art and architecture, be it critical responses to the failed aspirations of modernist architectural forms or 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.