Recently on view at the Belger Crane Yard Gallery, the exhibition Rae Stern: In Fugue debuted new works in porcelain and paper and focuses on the elusive and ephemeral nature of memory as both a personal and universal phenomenon.

To create the large scale translucent paper, Stern manipulated the thickness of the pulp without using any pigment. The daylight shines through the thinner parts of the handmade paper, exposing the image.

In this work, Stern revisit the photographs of five young women, whose photographs she collected for the Outside Time installation. The illuminated youthful gazes, are contrasted by the tragic events that later unfolded in their lives.

Stern wonders which medium is the most suitable for these fleeting memories. While juxtaposing the paper with the porcelain she asks:

“If each material has its own set of vulnerabilities, which will outlast the other? How dependent is our collective memory on our choice of medium?”


(pictured left) Hypomnema; Shoshana (Rossa), 2019, Handmade paper, 28 x 20.5″

(centered) Hypomnema; Kate, 2019, Handmade paper, 71 x 33.5″

(pictured right) Hypomnema; Lili, 2019, Handmade paper, 38 x 27.5″

(pictured left) Hypomnema; Regina, 2019, Handmade paper, 34.5 x 22″

(pictured right) Hypomnema; Aennie, 2019, Handmade paper, 70 x 45″


Rae Stern’s “In Fugue: Hypomnemata” handmade paper works, illuminated with both natural and artificial light. Five seleced pieces hang from the atrium ceiling, hovering above the public forum and visible upon entry to the building.

Stern’s work focuses on the elusive and ephemeral nature of memory as both a personal and universal phenomenon. The photographs that inspired this group of works on paper were chosen by Stern out of the images collected for her immersive installation Outside Time — currently on view at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (Virginia MOCA) through March 6th.

Click here to download a media release about the exhibit.


Virginia Beach, VA | On view now


Rae Stern: In Fugue features new, groundbreaking works in porcelain and paper. On view September 26, 2019 – February 8, 2020 at the Belger Crane Yard Studios, the exhibition focuses on the elusive and ephemeral nature of memory as both a personal and universal phenomenon. Through the manipulation of translucent attributes of porcelain and paper, and with innovative use of digital technology, the works pose questions about the relationship between object, memory, and time.


Kansas City, MO | September 26, 2019 – February 8, 2020


An exhibition catalog is now available as a limited edition. The publication includes essays by Glenn Adamson and Margaret Carney, alongside photography by T. Maxwell Wagner.
Also included are the stories behind the images that inspired the work, as well as an essay by the artist about the process of creating the exhibition.

The publication was designed by Dan Saal in collaboration with the artist. The design brings to life the tactile experience of the exhibition in a two-dimensional format. The project received generous support from Evelyn and Dick Belger.

To view or purchase the “Rae Stern: In Fugue” Catalog, please visit Rae Stern’s website.


Exhibition preview directed and produced by Johanna Brooks.
Filmed on site at the Belger Art Center and Crane Yard Studios, Kansas City, MO. 2020