Summer 2015 Exhibitions

Renée Cox, It Shall Be Named (1994). Peter Norton Collection. Full credit below.

Posted by Liam Otten May 4, 2015


The image is chilling. A black male figure, head gently tilted, emerges from a collage of distorted body parts, arms raised to form a fractured, asymmetrical cross.

In It Shall Be Named (1994), Renée Cox draws a powerful allusion between Christ's crucifixion and the lynching of African-Americans. The piece is one of more than 50 important, and provocative, works recently donated to the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum by Peter Norton, the arts philanthropist and software entrepreneur.

This spring and summer, the Kemper Art Museum will feature highlights from that gift in Rotation 1: Contemporary Art from the Peter Norton Gift. The first of two planned exhibitions—Rotation 2—will follow in the fall—Rotation 1 includes It Shall Be Named as well as video, sculpture, photography, and installations by Doug Aitken, Anna Gaskell, Katarzyna Józefowicz, Inez van Lamsweerde, Allen Ruppersberg, and Kara Walker.

Taken together, these mostly large-scale works represent some of the most interesting and challenging artistic positions to emerge in the 1990s and early 2000s, exploring issues of race and gender and the effects of media imagery.

Rotation 1 opened May 1, along with the 2015 MFA Thesis Exhibition, which features projects by 23 graduating Master of Fine Arts candidates from Washington University's Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts.

Also on view is Neither Here Nor There: Borders and Mobility in Contemporary Art. Organized by the University's 2014-15 Arthur Greenberg Undergraduate Curatorial Fellows, the exhibition explores the promise and realities of national and cultural boundaries in our increasingly globalized world.

All three exhibitions remain on view through August 2.

Image Credit

Renée Cox, It Shall Be Named (1994). Eleven gelatin silver prints in mahogany frame, 105 x 104 1/2 x 4 ¾”. Peter Norton Collection.