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(Free) Kemper Art Museum - Elementary (5-10ish) Tour
(Free) Kemper Art Museum - Elementary (5-10ish) Tour

Wed, Jan 25


Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

(Free) Kemper Art Museum - Elementary (5-10ish) Tour

Kids 5-10ish years old... no cost at all! Come and hang out with the cheerful docents of Kemper Art Museum for one hour and learn about painter Denzil Forrester (Grenadian-British, born 1956). The painting here is called Night Flames... come find out why! Siblings and parents can hang out as well.

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Time & Location

Jan 25, 2023, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM CST

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 4420 Warwick Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64111, USA


About The Event

Spots are limited (only 10 students at a time), and we will set up additional tours if needed. Please only register the elementary children who will participate in the tour!


Denzil Forrester is most well known for capturing the vibrancy and dynamism of 1980s London reggae and dub nightclub scene. Of his work, the artist says “I just wanted to draw movement, action and expression. I was interested in the energy of the crowd, particular dance movements and what the clubbers wore. In these clubs, city life is recreated in essence: sounds, lights, police sirens, bodies pushing and swaying in a smoke-filled room.”


1983        M.A., Fine Art, Royal College of Art, London, England

1979        B.A., Fine Art, Central School of Art, London, England

1976        Foundation, Central School of Art, London, England


2021      Itchin & Scratchin, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, England; travelling to Spike Island, Bristol, England

2021      Life Between Islands: Caribbean–British Art 50s – Now, Tate Britain, London, England

2019      Brixton Blue, TFL Commission, Brixton Underground Station, London, England


A Painter Who Captured London’s 1980s Reggae Scene (Hyperallergic)

In London, Essential Survey Shows Painter Denzil Forrester’s Full Range (ARTnews)

Denzil Forrester’s paintings celebrate pre-gentrification london nightlife (i-D Vice)

Andrew Hunt on Denzil Forrester (Artforum)


This exhibition presents thirty years of expressive paintings and drawings by Cornwall, UK–based artist Denzil Forrester MBE (Grenadian-British, born 1956). Taking inspiration from London’s dub reggae culture and clubs of the 1980s, Forrester’s working process is analogous to creating versions or reconfigurations of the same music track. Forrester’s numerous sketches from this period, made in the semi-darkness of urban dancehalls, continue to inform his paintings today. References to the diaspora, dub reggae, and the policing of Black cultural expression in Britain reverberate like a refrain throughout his practice. These figures and expressions read like a visual dub mix, echoing one another, and reconstituting themselves while projecting the transformative energy of the music.

Duppy Conqueror explores four themes that evolve throughout Forrester’s practice, circulating around ideas of ancestry, family, the aura of the reggae club and music scene, and the violence inflicted on Black communities.

Originating in Jamaica at about the time Forrester moved to East London in 1967, dub reggae speaks to his memories of the Caribbean while representing a vibrant cultural community in the UK. Works such as Rave On (1991), capture the energy of the dancing crowds and the idiosyncratic styles the clubbers wore. While such images express a sense of joy and freedom, paintings such as Brixton Blue (2018), also hint at the oppression of Black cultural life in Britain. Inspired by the death in police custody of the artist’s friend Winston Rose, this work exposes the physical, social, and emotional brutality inflicted on the Black body.

Duppy, an African word that evokes spirits and ancestors, is related semantically to dub, or the altered recordings of familiar songs made anew. This idea mirrors the dynamic of a music that echoes the past, speaks in the present, and anticipates the future. Key paintings in the exhibition Stitch Up (2017) and Reading with Ma Pets (2018), reveal the convergence of timelines that similarly defines Forrester’s work, from his childhood memories of Grenada to his experiences of London as a young man.

Duppy Conqueror is organized by Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and curated by Director of Curatorial Affairs Erin Dziedzic.


  • Elementary Kid (5-10ish years)

    This museum tour is geared toward elementary aged students. Parents and siblings can hang out too, but please only select tickets for the number of elementary aged students that will be on the tour.

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