The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (4420 Warwick, 816-753-5784) has newly painted black gallery walls for its latest exhibition, Julia Oschatz: Where Else
. Tonight's reception, which runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., marks the German artist's first solo museum gig in the United States. The show includes 25 paintings and three video installations housed in large, craggy cardboard structures that the artist created on-site using a chain saw. Oschatz's work documents the travels of a fictional character the artist calls Wesen, after a German word that means essence
. This Wesen is a mutant dressed in a simple gray suit — an eyeless, part-human, part-rodentlike creature reminiscent of Art Spiegelman's Maus. The worlds through which the tiny and sometimes lost-looking critter rambles are overwhelming places dominated by huge mountain ranges, dark caves and vast oceans. Oschatz will speak about her work at 6:30 p.m. in the museum's meeting room.
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: April 4. Continues through July 6, 2008