Nassau Calling. Art in the Bahamas [re]-Visited
HilgerBROTKunsthalle, Vienna, Austria
September 26, 2015 - November 21, 2015

New Dominion
Mixed Greens Gallery, New York, NY
June, 2015 - July, 2015

Arnold Joseph Kemp — HEADLESS (solo show)
April 19 - May 23, 2015
Soloway, Brooklyn, NY

European Ghosts — the representation of art from Africa in the twentieth century. (group show)
Mu.ZEE, Oostende, Belgium
April 7, 2015 - March 1, 2016

Arnold Joseph Kemp — VOLTA NY (solo artfair presentation)
w/PDX Contemporary, Pier 90, New York, NY
March 5 - 8, 2015

Key Figures (group show)
Adams and Ollman, Portland, OR
February 20 - March 28, 2015

Artist in Residence
Black Iris Gallery, Richmond VA
July 2014 - July 2015

The 7th National Exhibition: The Antillean: an Ecology (group show)
The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, Nassau, Bahamas
December 11, 2014 - May 10, 2015

Artist in Residence
Pacific Northwest College of the Arts/Caldera Center for the Arts
October 28 - November 11, 2014

Artist in Residence
BAANF Centre
November 16 - 29, 2014

Arnold J. Kemp — PUBLIC EVIDENCE SPECTATOR (solo show)
Sanders Department of Art/Georgia Southern University
September 29 - November 2, 2014

The International Invitational Triennial of Contemporary Wind Chimes (group show)
Rocksbox Fine Arts, Portland, OR
March 8 - April 27, 2014

Page 179, Artforum, September 2013
Brennan & Griffin, NYC, NT
December 15, 2013 - January 19, 2014

Hong Kong — Art Walk 2013
APRIL 2013

Arnold J Kemp — WHEN WILL MY LOVE BE RIGHT? (solo presentation)
PDX Contemporary, Portland, OR
January 22 - March 2, 2013

Portland, Oregon–based artist Arnold J. Kemp’s newest body of sculptures, photographs, and works on paper weave a poignant story of belonging and loss. The title of the exhibition, “WHEN WILL MY LOVE BE RIGHT,” is taken from a 1980s soul number by Robert Winters and Fall. It connects Kemp’s poetics of desire and vulnerability to larger social and political concerns, while illuminating the coming-of-age story (perhaps also a coming-out story) that lingers, sweetly, within the work.

At the center of Kemp’s project are four sculptures containing meticulously crafted wearable objects: a group of handmade belts with cast brass buckles bearing the word SHY, and two exquisite pairs of men’s shoes—one formal, one casual. Kemp made the shoes himself. The work LET HIS BODY BECOME A LIVING LETTER, 2013, features lustrous black oxfords sitting alongside a pair of exotic seashells. Both objects possess aesthetic beauty far in excess of their practical function to provide shelter and mobility for two different species whose bodies are absent. Quietly, Kemp’s alliterative nature morte draws our attention to the relationship between nature and culture, and nature and nurture. The belt pieces elicit similar musings: What does it mean to wear one’s shyness on one’s waist, so to speak?

Like an ocean crashing softly in a shell, Kemp’s work whispers its politics. The artist’s portrayal of black male subjectivity is playful, tender, and artisanal. Once during the run of the show, Kemp, who is a poet as well as an author, will perform a play composed of found and original material, giving human voice to the work’s symbolic chorus.

— Stephanie Synder


Arnold J. Kemp — FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE
ΜΕΣ(s)Α Project Space, Portland, OR
Opening, May 31, 2012, 6 - 9 PM

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Robert Glück — MY LAST DAY. AN ESSAY. (limited edition chapbook)
Opening Saturday April 28, 2012, 7-10 PM

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