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Much like pornography, everybody knows bad architecture when they see it. You may not have the language necessary to explain why you hate it, but artists do. Encountering the City: The Urban Experience in Contemporary Art, the new exhibition at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum on Washington University's campus (1 Brookings Drive; 314-935-4523 or kemperartmuseum.wustl.edu) features artwork that responds to the built environment. Some of the work is critical, addressing the areas in which the architect has failed on an artistic level, but much of it is a more open response to the subject. Artists such as Franz Ackermann, Gary Simmons, Isa Genzken and Sarah Morris examine the materials used in construction, the concept of place and space, and the ways these buildings will be inhabited. Encountering the City opens with a free public reception at 7 p.m. Friday, September 12, and remains open every day but Tuesday, through Sunday, January 4, 2015. Admission is free.

IMAGE CREDIT: Gary Simmons, Plaza Inferno Grid, 2008. Oil and pigment on six pieces of gessoed paper, 102 x 67 1/2" (overall). Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis. University purchase, Bixby Fund, 2012.
Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Mondays, Wednesdays-Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Starts: Sept. 13. Continues through Jan. 4, 2014

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