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Oakland, CA—August 20, 2012. The Mills College Art Museum is pleased to present the first one- person museum exhibition on the West Coast of internationally acclaimed American artist Karen Kilimnik. Dance Rehearsal: Karen Kilimnik’s World of Ballet and Theatre is dedicated to Kilimnik’s longstanding fascination with 18th and 19th century classical and romantic story ballets and historical theatre. Curated by Melissa E. Feldman, Dance Rehearsal will be on view from September 12 through December 9, 2012. The opening reception will take place on Wednesday, September 12, 2012 from 6:00–8:00 pm. Free shuttle service will be provided from the MacArthur Bart station during the opening.


Featuring over 30 works from the late-1980s to the present, Dance Rehearsal encompasses all the diverse styles and mediums in which Kilimnik has worked—from figurative drawing and painting to mixed media mise-en-scène installations, collage, photography, and video, as well as more recent forays into set and costume design and choreography. Kilimnik often revisits and revises her work— historical theatres and stage sets, as well as famous dancers, pop stars and actors, make repeat appearances in her work. Kiliminik’s consuming drive to re-envision certain plot lines, images and motifs relates to the ever-evolving nature of the performing arts with its endless variations, renditions and remakes. Kilimnik creates a phantasmagoric world of ballet and theatre that is all her own.


In addition to opening Dance Rehearsal, MCAM is excited to launch a new publication by the same name. Dance Rehearsal: Karen Kilimnik’s World of Ballet and Theatre features over 60 large-scale, full color images of Kilimnik’s work, some of which have never been reproduced before, and includes new scholarship by independent curator Melissa E. Feldman, art critic and frieze co-editor Jörg Heiser, fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, and dance critic Apollinaire Scherr. Dance Rehearsal will be available for purchase beginning September 12 at the opening reception.



MCAM is also pleased to partner with the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, where Dance Rehearsal: Karen Kilimnik’s World of Ballet and Theatre will be on view in Spring 2013.

Emerging in the late-1980s, American artist Karen Kilimnik is a key figure in contemporary art whose work in media ranging from traditional painting to video and live performance has reinvigorated and expanded the lexicon of narrative figuration. Swept up by beauty and the emotional tides of her often-tragic subjects—be they Patti Hearst or Giselle—Kilimnik’s work nonetheless retains the knowing criticality possessed by all great cultural producers. The artist has been the subject of major solo exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States, including the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia and the Consortium, Dijon, both in 2007, the Serpentine Gallery, London and ARC/Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, in 2006, Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice (2005), and the Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn (2000).


Melissa E. Feldman is an independent curator and critic who writes regularly for Art in America and frieze.


Dance Rehearsal: Karen Kilimnik’s World of Ballet and Theatre is organized by the Mills College Art Museum and supported by the Joan Danforth Art Museum Endowment.