Exhibition: Magnetic Fields is the first museum exhibit in the US to show abstract artwork created exclusively by women of color

From kemper Museum of Contemporary Art:


Shinique Smith, “Whirlwind Dancer” (2014–2017) ink, acrylic, paper and fabric collage on canvas over wood panel 96 x 96 x 3 inches, collection of Leslie and Greg Ferrero, courtesy of David Castillo Gallery, Miami, (photo by E. G. Schempf; © Shinique Smith)

Magnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today introduces the work of more than twenty exceptional artists in conversation with one another for the first time. With works in a range of media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and drawing, the exhibition showcases a diverse range of unique visual vocabularies within non-representational expression. By highlighting these artists’ individual approaches to form, color, composition, material exploration and conceptual impetus within hard-edge and gestural abstraction, Magnetic Fields provides an expanded history of non-pictorial image and object-making. The exhibition not only celebrates these artists as leaders in the field, but also the enduring ability of abstraction to convey both personal iconography and universal themes.

The exhibition features a range of works, including early and later career examples, those of specific series, several exhibited for the first time, and the long awaited reappearance of iconic works such as Mavis Pusey’s large-scale painting Dejygea (1970) in The Whitney’s 1971 exhibition Contemporary Black Artists In America. Also drawn in part from the Kemper Museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition features Chakaia Booker’s rubber tire sculpture El Gato (2001).

Magnetic Fields marks the first U.S. presentation dedicated exclusively to the formal and historical dialogue of abstraction by women artists of color.

EXHIBITION ARTISTS: Candida Alvarez (b. 1955), Betty Blayton (b. 1937, d. 2016), Chakaia Booker (b. 1953), Lilian Thomas Burwell (b. 1927), Nanette Carter (b. 1954), Barbara Chase-Riboud (b. 1939), Deborah Dancy (b. 1949), Abigail DeVille (b. 1981), Maren Hassinger (b. 1947), Jennie C. Jones (b. 1968), Evangeline “EJ” Montgomery (b. 1930), Mary Lovelace O’Neal (b. 1942), Howardena Pindell (b. 1943), Mavis Pusey (b. 1928), Shinique Smith (b. 1971), Gilda Snowden (b. 1954, d. 2014), Sylvia Snowden (b. 1942), Kianja Strobert (b. 1980), Alma Thomas (b. 1891, d. 1978), Mildred Thompson (b. 1936, d. 2003), Brenna Youngblood (b. 1979).

Exhibition Details

On View through September 17, 2017

4420 Warwick Blvd. | Kansas City, Missouri 64111 | Tel 816.753.5784
Free Admission and Parking
Tues–Wed 10–4
Thurs–Fri 10–9
Sat–Sun 10–4
Mon closed


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