MOCRA exhibitions: The Learned Art of Compassion

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A presentation of works by the late American artist Adrian Kellard, on the twentieth anniversary of his death.

Adrian Kellard exhibition logo

    September 24 - December 11, 2011 . . . extended through December 18, 2011
free public opening reception 
         Saturday, September 24     1:30 - 4:00 p.m.
            click here for a PDF with special parking information for the opening reception

         the opening reception takes place during a full day of activities with Grand Center's Dancing in the Street festival
         and Saint Louis University's Homecoming Weekend

click here for more information about Dancing in the Street 2011
            click here for more information about Homecoming 2011

         American Arts Experience logo
         The Learned Art of Compassion is part of the American Arts Experience - St. Louis,
a celebration from September 30 - October 16, 2010, of American artists in all disciplines that will fill the
         concert halls, museums, theaters, universities and outdoor spaces of the St. Louis area with
         dozens of performances and shows.
             Click here for more information on the myriad offerings in the festival's second year!

AIDS ribbonDecember 1 is World AIDS Day and Day With(out) Art
MOCRA invites you to participate in this annual observance by visiting our Adrian Kellard exhibition. You might also consider one of the many other activities taking place in the St. Louis metro region. Or, listen to a special episode of the MOCRA Voices podcast, featuring an interview with Thomas Sokolowski.

Adrian Kellard info sheet thumbnail

Download an informational brochure with sample images:
low resolution (413kb - faster download) or high resolution (5.7MB - better for printing)

General Exhibition Information
Hours: Tues - Sun, 11 am - 4 pm
Admission: free, with suggested donation of $5/adults, $1/students and children

Directions and Parking information
Group visit information

Adrian Kellard image

Adrian Kellard in his New York City studio, ca. 1990.
In the background are The Promise and Gary.
Courtesy of Regina DeLuise.

MOCRA presents a selection of work by American artist Adrian Kellard (1959-91). After art studies at SUNY Purchase he moved to New York City and studied under the artist Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt. In his short career, Kellard achieved national and international recognition, having had six solo shows as well as being included in more than 25 group exhibitions at the time of his death. His work has been featured in exhibitions at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, New York University’s Grey Art Gallery, the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, and the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.

Despite his artistic training, Kellard remained grounded in his working class upbringing. Working in the stylistic tradition of German Expressionism, Kellard demonstrated expertise with wood carving by creating bold images of Christian subjects in contemporary contexts. Yet he worked with simple pine wood and household latex paint with the screws and hanging hardware fully visible—materials readily available at any local hardware store. He incorporated “high” art with “low” art, combining images quoted from artists such as Giotto and Michelangelo with images from pop culture.

Kellard’s work reflects his deep faith and a complicated set of identities: Irish-Italian ancestry, Catholic, gay. He brought all of these realities, and later on his struggle with AIDS, into his work.

Adrian Kellard image

Adrian Kellard, Healing . . . The  Learned Art of Compassion (detail), 1985-86.
Latex on wood. MOCRA Collection.

Adrian Kellard image

Adrian Kellard, St. Francis screen, 1985.
Latex on wood with hinges. Collection of Antonia Lasicki and
William Devia, Niskayuna, NY.

MOCRA is fortunate to have the largest collection of Kellard’s work in any single art institution. Several works have been shown in MOCRA group exhibitions over the years, but now, 30 years after the identification of HIV and 20 years after Kellard’s death, we are pleased to present this solo exhibition in­cluding a number of Kellard’s most important works.

Adrian Kellard image

Adrian Kellard, St. Martin of Tours coat rack, 1985.
Latex on wood. MOCRA Collection.

Adrian Kellard, Shrine (detail), 1984-85

Adrian Kellard, Shrine, 1984-85. Latex on wood with rope. MOCRA Collection.

Additional links

More about Adrian Kellard

Adrian Kellard's The Promise featured for Day With(out) Art at MOCRA in 2009

MOCRA blog post: Installing Adrian Kellard's Prayer of the Faithul in Ordinary Time

The Learned Art of Compassion in the media

Art Papers review of Adrian Kellard exhibition 

MOCRA Voices logo
Listen to a conversation about the life and art of Adrian Kellard, part of the MOCRA Voices podcast series

Plus, explore the relationship among AIDS, art, and activism with art historian and curator Thomas Sokolowski

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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