Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist at The Whitney Museum of American Art

The most eye-opening take-away I got from attending the preview of (both) the new Whitney Museum of American Art in downtown Manhattan (99 Gansevoort Street, New York, NY 10014, (212) 570-3600, info@whitney.org) and the inaugural exhibit, America is Hard to See, is, as much as I love art (and how much I have read on the subject over the years), it was astonishing how much I DID NOT know.

We all know Jackson Pollack, but how much do we know about his wife, Lee Krasner, an accomplished artist in her own right whose own career often was seriously compromised by her role as supportive wife to Pollock, arguably the one of the most significant postwar American painter, as well as by the male-dominated art world? We know Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Georgia O’Keefe, but we should also know more about Arthur Dove, Imogene Cunningham, Florine Stettheimer, James Daugherty, Eldzier Cortor, Raphael Montanez Ortiz, Eva Hesse, Lari Pitmman, and Nam June Park, and so many others, all among the 400 artists represented in more than 600 works of arts in “America is Hard to See“.

The Whitney Museum of American Art was borne out of sculptor Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s advocacy on behalf of living American artists. At the beginning of the twentieth century, artists with new ideas found it nearly impossible to exhibit or sell their work in the United States. Recognizing the obstacles these artists faced, Mrs. Whitney began purchasing and showing their work, thereby becoming the leading patron of American art from 1907 until her death in 1942.

In 1914, Mrs. Whitney established The Whitney Studio in Greenwich Village, where she presented exhibitions by living American artists whose work had been disregarded by the traditional

Archibald John Motley Jr. (1891-1981)

Archibald John Motley Jr. (1891-1981)

academies. By 1929 she had assembled a collection of more than 500 works, which she offered with an endowment to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. When the offer was refused, she set up her own museum, one with a new and radically different mandate: to focus exclusively on the art and artists of this country. The Whitney Museum of American Art was founded in 1930, and opened in 1931 on West Eighth Street in Greenwich Village.

Since its inception in 1931, the Whitney has championed American art and artists by assembling a rich permanent collection and featuring a rigorous and varied schedule of exhibition programs, which is why the upcoming exhibition, Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist, (October 2, 2015–January 17, 2016) is so important. It introduces us to yet another artist we should know and whose work defined the life and times in America.

 Archibald J. Motley Jr., Blues, (detail), 1929. Oil on canvas, 36 x 42 inches (91.4 x 106.7 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Archibald J. Motley Jr., Blues, (detail), 1929. Oil on canvas, 36 x 42 inches (91.4 x 106.7 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Archibald Motley was one of the most important figures associated with the Harlem Renaissance (although he never lived in Harlem) and is best known as both a master colorist and a radical interpreter of urban culture.First shown at the Nasher Museum at Duke University in early 2014 and organized and curated by Professor Richard J. Powell (John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University), Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist is the first full-scale survey of his paintings in two decades, featuring mesmerizing portraits and vibrant cultural scenes painted between 1919 to 1961. The installation at the Whitney Museum will be overseen by Carter E. Foster, Steven and Ann Ames Curator of Drawing.

Archibald J. Motley Jr., Barbecue, (detail), c. 1934. Oil on canvas, 39 x 44 inches (99.1 x 111.76 cm). Collection of the Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Archibald J. Motley Jr., Barbecue, (detail), c. 1934. Oil on canvas, 39 x 44 inches (99.1 x 111.76 cm). Collection of the Howard University Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

 Archibald J. Motley Jr., Tongues (Holy Rollers), (detail), 1929. Oil on canvas, 29.25 x 36.125 inches (74.3 x 91.8 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Archibald J. Motley Jr., Tongues (Holy Rollers), (detail), 1929. Oil on canvas, 29.25 x 36.125 inches (74.3 x 91.8 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

The exhibition will offer an unprecedented opportunity to carefully examine Motley’s dynamic depictions of modern life in his home town, Chicago, as well as in Jazz Age Paris and Mexico. Specifically, it will highlight his unique use of both expressionism and social realism and will resituate this underexposed artist within a broader, art historical context. The exhibition will be presented in the sky-lit eighth floor galleries of the new Whitney during its inaugural year.

Motley is one of the most significant yet least visible 20th-century artists, despite the broad appeal of his paintings. Many of his most important portraits and cultural scenes remain in private collections; few museums have had the opportunity to acquire his work. With a survey that spans 40 years, Archibald Motley introduces the artist’s canvases of riotous color to wider audiences and reveals his continued impact on art history.

According to Powell in a previous interview, ” There was a major retrospective of Archibald Motley that was done in the early 1990s by the Chicago Historical Society, now known as the Chicago History Museum. Why are we looking at him again? The show that was done in 1991 was a broad introduction to his art and career. It was less focused and broad and general. I had a chance to see that show and enjoyed it immensely. But as we have moved beyond that moment and into the 21st century and as we have moved into the era of post-modernism, particularly that category post-black, I really felt that it would be worth revisiting Archibald Motley to look more critically at his work, to investigate his wry sense of humor, his use of irony in his paintings, his interrogations of issues around race and identity.

Archibald J. Motley Jr., Mending Socks, 1924. Oil on canvas, 43.875 x 40 inches (111.4 x 101.6 cm). Collection of the Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Burton Emmett Collection, 58.1.2801. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Archibald J. Motley Jr., Mending Socks, 1924. Oil on canvas, 43.875 x 40 inches (111.4 x 101.6 cm). Collection of the Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Burton Emmett Collection, 58.1.2801. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Archibald John Motley, Junior (September 2, 1891, New Orleans, Louisiana – January 16, 1981, Chicago, Illinois) was an American painter. He studied painting at the Art Institute of Chicago during the 1910s and is most famous for his colorful chronicling of the African-American experience during the 1920s and 1930s, and considered one of the major contributors to the Harlem Renaissance.

Archibald J. Motley, Jr., Black Belt, (detail), 1934. Oil on canvas, 33 x 40.5 inches (83.8 x 102.9 cm). Collection of the Hampton University Museum, Hampton, Virginia. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Archibald J. Motley, Jr., Black Belt, (detail), 1934. Oil on canvas, 33 x 40.5 inches (83.8 x 102.9 cm). Collection of the Hampton University Museum, Hampton, Virginia. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Unlike many other Harlem Renaissance artists, Archibald Motley, Jr. never lived in Harlem—-he was born in New Orleans and spent the majority of his life in Chicago. His was the only black family in a fairly affluent, white, European neighborhood. His social class enabled him to have the benefit of classical training at the Art Institute of Chicago. He was awarded the Harmon Foundation Award in 1928, and then became the first African-American to have a one-man exhibit in New York City. He sold twenty-two out of the twenty-six exhibited paintings–an impressive feat for an emerging black artist.

Archibald J. Motley Jr., Self-Portrait (Myself at Work), 1933. Oil on canvas, 57.125 x 45.25 inches (145.1 x 114.9 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Archibald J. Motley Jr., Self-Portrait (Myself at Work), 1933. Oil on canvas, 57.125 x 45.25 inches (145.1 x 114.9 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

In 1927 he had applied for a Guggenheim Fellowship and was denied, but he reapplied and won the fellowship in 1929. He studied in France for a year, and chose not to extend his fellowship another six months. While many contemporary artists looked back to Africa for inspiration, Motley was inspired by the great Renaissance masters available at the Louvre. He found in the artwork there a formal sophistication and maturity that could give depth to his own work, particularly in the Dutch painters and the genre images of Delacroix, Hals, and Rembrandt. Motley’s portraits take the conventions of the Western tradition and update them–allowing for black bodies, specifically black female bodies, a space in a history that had traditionally excluded them.

Archibald J. Motley Jr., Brown Girl After the Bath, 1931. Oil on canvas, 48.25 x 36 inches (122.6 x 91.4 cm). Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio. Gift of an anonymous donor, 2007.015. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Archibald J. Motley Jr., Brown Girl After the Bath, 1931. Oil on canvas, 48.25 x 36 inches (122.6 x 91.4 cm). Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio. Gift of an anonymous donor, 2007.015. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Archibald J. Motley Jr., The Octoroon Girl, 1925. Oil on canvas, 38 x 30.25 inches (96.5 x 76.8 cm). Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, New York. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Archibald J. Motley Jr., The Octoroon Girl, 1925. Oil on canvas, 38 x 30.25 inches (96.5 x 76.8 cm). Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York, New York. © Valerie Gerrard Browne.

Motley was incredibly interested in skin tone, and did numerous portraits documenting women of varying blood quantities (“octoroon,” “quadroon,” “mulatto”). These portraits celebrate skin tone as something diverse, inclusive, and pluralistic. The also demonstrate an understanding that these categorizations become synonymous with public identity and influence one’s opportunities in life. It is often difficult if not impossible to tell what kind of racial mixture the subject has without referring to the title. These physical markers of blackness, then, are unstable and unreliable, and Motley exposed that difference.

As Powell later reiterated, “Motley [was] very attuned to the racial politics of his time. He knows that African Americans during this time struggled around issues of class and race and identity and that he can get a rise out of audiences and viewers when he explores a range of subjects that might be viewed by some people as stereotypic. He is consciously doing this. He is willfully doing this to get people to engage with the work, but also ultimately to move beyond a simplistic representation or a simplistic sense of what black people should or shouldn’t look like. He wants to mix things up to make you come to terms with the richness of the subject as it is represented from one painting to another.” Continue reading

See U Next Tuesday: “Blowing Boogie Bugle Man From Company G”

To get you started on your holiday weekend festivities, I present Allison Lane’s Parody of the Andrews Sisters Classic “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B”.  Enjoy and have a good weekend. (https://twitter.com/1AllisonLane)

And the original from The Andrews Sisters, from the 1941 Bud Abbott and Lou Costello film, “Buck Privates”.

 

The Whitney Museum of American Art Announces New Expansion of its Leadership Team

Appoints Donna De Salvo to New Position of Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator, and Scott Rothkopf to Deputy Director for Programs and Chief Curator

Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, today announced that the Museum is expanding its leadership team by appointing Donna De Salvo to the new position of Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator, and Scott Rothkopf to Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, effective July 1, 2015. The move is designed to bolster the Whitney’s leadership in response to the recent growth of the Museum, the ever-widening programming opportunities available in its new building, and in anticipation of the greater role the Museum expects to play on the internationally art front.

In her new role, Donna De Salvo, who has served as the Whitney’s Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs since 2006, will help lead the Museum’s efforts to define and communicate an expanded and more complex understanding of American art and artists in contemporary culture globally. In addition to organizing exhibitions, De Salvo will encourage greater visibility for the Whitney through programs, professional exchanges,

Donna De Salvo, the new Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator at The Whitney Museum of American Art

Donna De Salvo, the new Deputy Director for International Initiatives and Senior Curator at The Whitney Museum of American Art

and institutional development. De Salvo will also be involved in long-term strategic planning for the institution.

In addition to leading the curatorial team for the Whitney’s inaugural collection display America Is Hard to See, Miss De Salvo has curated Full House: The Whitney’s Collection at 75 (2006) and Robert Irwin: Scrim veil—Black rectangle—Natural light, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1977) (2013). Among the exhibitions she has co-curated are Sinister Pop (2012–13, with Scott Rothkopf), Signs & Symbols (2012, with Jane Panetta), Lawrence Weiner: AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE (2007–08, with Ann Goldstein) and Roni Horn aka Roni Horn (2009–10, with Carter Foster and Mark Godfrey). With Linda Norden, she co-curated Course of Empire: Paintings by Ed Ruscha for the United States Pavilion at the 51st Venice Biennale, an exhibition that was also presented at the Whitney (2005–06).

Prior to working at the Whitney, De Salvo served for five years as a Senior Curator at Tate Modern, London, where she curated such exhibitions such as Open Systems: Rethinking Art c. 1970 (2005); Marsyas (Anish Kapoor’s 2003 work commissioned by Tate Modern for its Turbine Hall); and Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis (2001). Among the exhibitions she has curated at other institutions are Hand-Painted Pop: American Art in Transition, 1955–1962 (MOCA Los Angeles, 1992–93), Staging Surrealism (Wexner Center for the Arts, 1997–98), and A Museum Looks at Itself: Mapping Past and Present at the Parrish Art Museum (Parrish Art Museum, 1992).

From 1981 to 1986, De Salvo was a curator at the Dia Art Foundation, where she worked closely with several of its artists, including John Chamberlain, Walter De Maria, Donald Judd, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol. A noted expert on the work of Warhol, she was Adjunct Curator for the Andy Warhol Museum and was curator of Andy Warhol: Disaster Paintings, 1963 (Dia Art Foundation, 1986), Andy Warhol: Hand-Painted Images, 1960–62 (Dia Art Foundation, 1987), “Success is a Job in New York”: The early art and business of Andy Warhol (Grey Art Gallery, 1989), and a retrospective of the artist’s work at Tate Modern (2002). She is currently developing a thematic retrospective of Warhol’s work to be presented at the Whitney in 2018.

She has written catalogues and essays and lectured on a wide range of modern and contemporary artists, including Barbara Bloom, Lee Bontecou, John Chamberlain, William Eggleston, Isa Genzken, Robert Gober, Philip Guston, Wade Guyton, Ray Johnson, Anish Kapoor, Per Kirkeby, Barbara Kruger, Giorgio Morandi, Barnett Newman, Chris Ofili, Gerhard Richter, Robert Smithson, Cy Twombly, Mark Wallinger, and Gillian Wearing. A recipient of the Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Award from the College Art Association, she has participated in many international juries and review panels and has taught at the curatorial studies programs at Bard College and The Royal College of Art.

Donna De Salvo stated, “I am delighted to be entrusted with the responsibilities of this new position to carry forward our work and to further enhance and extend what American art means on a world stage. I believe we have created a framework, both architecturally and programmatically, that provides endless possibilities in future. I am especially excited by the prospect of working together with Scott Rothkopf in his new role and on our expanded mission for the Museum.”

Scott Rothkopf, presently Nancy and Steve Crown Family Curator and Associate Director of Programs, joined the Whitney as Curator in 2009. In his new role, he will oversee the curatorial department and exhibition activities, direct the growth and display of the collection, and shape the Whitney’s programmatic vision. Taking advantage of the Museum’s new and greatly increased indoor and outdoor spaces, he will oversee expanded visual,

Scott Rothkopf, The Whitney's new  Deputy Director for Programs and Chief Curator

Scott Rothkopf, The Whitney’s new Deputy Director for Programs and Chief Curator

performing, and media arts offerings as well as continue to organize exhibitions himself.

Rothkopf most recently served on the curatorial team responsible for the Whitney’s inaugural collection display America Is Hard to See. At the Whitney he has also curated Mary Heilmann: Sunset (2015), Jeff Koons: A Retrospective (2014), Sinister Pop (2012–13, with Donna De Salvo),Wade Guyton OS (2012–13), Glenn Ligon: AMERICA (2011), Singular Visions (2010, with Dana Miller), and Whitney on Site: Guyton\Walker (2010).

Prior to joining the Whitney, Rothkopf served as Senior Editor of Artforum International from 2004 through 2009, where he was a frequent contributor of feature reviews and essays. He began his curatorial career at the Harvard University Art Museums, organizing Mel Bochner: Photographs, 1966–1969 (2002) and Huyghe + Corbusier: Harvard Project (2004, with Linda Norden). He also served as a contributing curator to the Biennale de Lyon in 2007, for a project with Guyton.

Rothkopf has published widely on the work of contemporary artists, including Paul Chan, Diller and Scofidio, Carroll Dunham, Katharina Fritsch, Eva Hesse, Jasper Johns, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Josiah McElheny, Takashi Murakami, Laura Owens, Elizabeth Peyton, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, Paul Thek, Kelley Walker, T. J. Wilcox, Terry Winters, and Karen Kilimnik, who was the subject of his 2007 book, Period Eye: Karen Kilimnik’s Fancy Pictures, co-authored with Meredith Martin. He also served as editor of Yourself in the World (2011), a volume of the collected writings and interviews of Glenn Ligon.

Rothkopf is a member of the board of trustees of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and has been a visiting critic at Hunter College, Yale University’s School of Art, and the University of Southern California, among many others. He has served on numerous juries, including those of the Deste Foundation and the American Academy in Rome. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in the history of art and architecture from Harvard University.

Rothkopf stated, “The Whitney has long been known as the artists’ museum, a reputation that captures our intimate and profound commitment to artists and their work. In our new home we will further develop our venturesome approach to challenging exhibitions, collection displays, and an innovative performance program, as well as create new connections among them. It is a great honor to be chosen to take this project forward and to expand on the extraordinary accomplishments of Donna De Salvo.”

In announcing the new positions, Weinberg stated, “The Whitney is poised to take on greater challenges and growing its leadership is essential to extending the Museum’s reach. No one is better prepared to take on the important work of redefining the Whitney’s role on the international stage than Donna De Salvo, whose experience, insight, and innovative thinking have been central to our move downtown. As can be seen in the presentation of the Whitney’s collection in our new home, led brilliantly by Donna, we are exploring as never before the layered, nuanced, and changing meanings of the term ‘American art’ within contemporary global culture. In her new role, Donna will build on that experimentation and thinking.

Scott Rothkopf has brought a singular combination of scholarship, critical acumen, and curatorial talent to the Whitney,” Weinberg continued. “His achievements over the past half-dozen years have been remarkable; his vision, inventiveness, and leadership abilities are manifest. We’re proud to welcome him as our new Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, charged with overseeing all facets of the Museum’s curatorial program. Scott’s enthusiasm, energy, and passion for the Whitney’s mission—with living artists at its core—make him the perfect choice to expand and enrich our curatorial offerings at this historic turning point for the Whitney. We are particularly grateful to our trustee Nancy Crown and her husband Steve for so generously endowing this position.

 

 

See Dance Differently at The 2015 (21st Annual) Fire Island Dance Festival

Make your plans now to attend Fire Island’s most anticipated event of the season. The Fire Island Dance Festival  (July 17-19, 2015, Fire Island Pines, NY) has wowed audiences for 20 years with an eclectic mix of famed and fast-rising dancers from Broadway to Ballet performing on a stunning waterfront stage with the Great South Bay as a backdrop. During the festival’s 20 years, 48 new works have had their world premieres at Fire Island Dance Festival.

To date, Fire Island Dance Festival supporters have raised $3.8 million for the most vulnerable among us, helping to ensure that they receive lifesaving medications and health care, nutritious meals, counseling and emergency financial assistance.

This year’s line of performers includes:

American Ballet Theatre, presenting in-demand choreographer Liam Scarlett’s intimate “With a Chance of Rain,” featuring principal dancers Isabella Bolyston and Cory Stearns.

• Aszure Barton & Artists, a collective of visual, sound and performing artists evoking the movement-based vision and free spirit of its founder through her adventurous choreography.

The Bang Group, negotiating the perilous and hysterical results of David Parker and  Jeffrey Kazin wearing neck-to-toe Velcro suits in “Slapstuck.”

Jon Bond & Joaquim de Santana, members of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, exploring gravity-defying movement with fluidity and intensity.

Ashley Bouder & Amar Ramasar, principal dancers with New York City Ballet, creating an intriguing juxtaposition onstage with powerhouse precision and infectious enthusiasm.

• Dorrance Dance, honoring tap dance’s uniquely beautiful history in a new and dynamically compelling context by pushing the boundaries of tap rhythmically, aesthetically and conceptually.

• Marcelo Gomes, a Brazilian-born principal dancer for American Ballet Theatre, and violinist Charles Yang,
combining Gomes’ own irresistibly charismatic choreography with Yang’s explosive playing in Paganini.

On the Town, one of America’s classic musical comedies currently playing at Broadway’s Lyric Theatre, showcases “Lonely Town Pas de Deux,” choreographed by Emmy winner Joshua Bergasse, inspired by Jerome Robbins’ original choreography, and featuring Kristine Covillo and Stephen Hanna

Parsons Dance, hailed as “one of the hottest tickets in contemporary American dance,” performing Trey McIntyre’s “Hymn” which premiered at Fire Island Dance Festival in 2007.

• Sonya Tayeh, nominated for an Emmy Award for her choreography on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, premiering a duet showcasing her bold, unrelenting style of contemporary jazz.

Tickets start at only $125 and include open bar. Tickets available at dradance.org or by calling 212.840.0770, ext. 268. The festival is produced by and benefits Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Funds raised by DRA are distributed through Broadway Cares to AIDS and family-service organizations nationwide and to the essential social service programs of The Actors Fund.

ANNUAL WHITNEY ISP EXHIBITION, S/N, GOES ON VIEW MAY 22 AT THE KITCHEN

Photo: Film still of Lis Rhodes, Dresden Dynamo, 1971-72, 16mm, color, sound, 5 mins.

Photo: Film still of Lis Rhodes, Dresden Dynamo, 1971-72, 16mm, color, sound, 5 mins.

From May 22 to June 13, 2015, the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program presents S/N, curated by the ISP’s 2014–15 Helena Rubinstein Curatorial Fellows Alex Fleming, Anya Komar, and Blair Murphy. The exhibition takes place at The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, New York. S/N, an abbreviation for signal-to-noise ratio, refers to the relation between a message and the background noise emanating from the materials and environments it traverses. An exhibition of diverse practices including video, performance, conceptual writing, and music, S/N examines the material complexities of sound as a force that both allows and frustrates communication. While the works on view employ various media, they all interrogate the historical and political contexts of audibility: how, where, and when something can be heard.

S/N features works by Sonia Boyce and Ain Bailey, Cammisa Buerhaus, James Coleman, Manon de Boer, Joan La Barbara, Tracie Morris, Vanessa Place, Steve Reinke, Lis Rhodes, SCRAAATCH, Masha Tupitsyn, Ultra-red, Galina Ustvolskaya, and Jackie Wang. The exhibition hours are Tuesday through Friday, 12 to 6 pm, and Saturday, 11 am to 6 pm. Admission is free. The opening reception will take place on Friday, May 22, from 5 to 8 pm. The opening will include a performance of Galina Ustvolskaya’s Piano Sonata No. 6 performed by Cheryl Seltzer of Continuum Ensemble, which will take place promptly at 6 pm in The Kitchen theater.

PUBLIC PROGRAMS

Galina Ustvolskaya: Piano Sonata No. 6 performed by Cheryl Seltzer of Continuum Ensemble
The Kitchen theater, 512 West 19th Street
Friday, May 22, 6 pm
Seating is limited and will be first-come, first-served

Composed in 1988, Piano Sonata No. 6 is one of Galina Ustvolskaya’s most challenging compositions. The score consists largely of tone clusters and demands the performer aggressively strike the instrument, thereby speaking to the turbulence and violence at the end of the Soviet era.

Winner of the prestigious Siemens international prize for distinguished service to music and four ASCAP/Chamber Music America Awards for Adventuresome Programming, New York-based CONTINUUM — directed by Cheryl Seltzer and Joel Sachs — is now in its 43rd season.

After a CONTINUUM concert the New York Times wrote, “Simply put, there is no musical organization in New York that produces more intellectually enticing or more viscerally satisfying programs than Continuum… Year after year, its explorations in 20th-century repertory prove to be not only unusual and unexpected but also important and enduring… This ensemble has a long history of acting in behalf of composers whom others discover years or decades later.”

CONTINUUM‘s name embodies the philosophy that new music and old form an unbroken tradition. Aiming to expand the audience for recent music, it has performed throughout the United States, including appearances at the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, at colleges and community series throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, in 25 tours to Europe, ten to Asia, and five to Latin America. In 2008 Continuum made its sixth visit to Mongolia‘s Roaring Hooves festival, and in recent seasons has appeared at festivals in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.

CBS-TV, educational television, National Public Radio, the Voice of America, and European networks have broadcast CONTINUUM events. CONTINUUM has made 17 portrait recordings for diverse labels. Its concert programs embrace the entire range of music from 20th-century classics such as Ives, Joplin and Webern, to today’s composers from all over the world.

Ultra-red: Introduction to Collective Listening
The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street
Saturday, May 23
12–3 pm

Sound collective Ultra-red will lead a sound walk and workshop based on its work Protocols for the Wojnarowicz Object, or What Is the Sound of Building Up and Tearing Down? (2012). Participants will gather at The Kitchen at 12 pm for a short introduction, followed by a sound walk down the west side of Manhattan. After the sound walk, participants will return to The Kitchen for a discussion of their experiences during the walk.

SCRAAATCH: SCRAAATCH No. 9
The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street
Friday, June 5
4–6 pm

SCRAAATCH performs SCRAAATCH No. 9, part of a series of collaborative performance works. Combining live sound processing and performative notation, the duo develops an intricate physical and aural choreography, exploring the difficulties of mediated communication and exchange.

Avital Ronell, Vanessa Place, Kyoo Lee: Last—Words?
Whitney Museum of American Art, 99 Gansevoort Street
Saturday, June 6
6:308:30 pm

What does it mean to speak of one’s own death? And how does one hear what is spoken? Avital Ronell, professor of German, Comparative Literature, and English at NYU, will address the death penalty and the recorded speech of executed prisoners. Artist and criminal defense attorney Vanessa Place will perform Botched Execution (2015), an extension of her Last Words (2014–ongoing). Included in the exhibition, Last Words is a recording of the artist’s voice reading the last statements of inmates executed in Texas since 1982. Kyoo Lee, philosopher, theorist, and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, will respond and moderate the conversation.

Jay Sanders and Charles Bernstein in Conversation
The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street
Thursday, June 11
6–8 pm

Whitney curator Jay Sanders and poet Charles Bernstein will discuss their work in, on, and around sound, performance, installation, dance, poetry, theater, poetics, curating, editing, essay writing, and teaching. They will also reflect on their previous collaboration curating the 2001 exhibition Poetry Plastique at the Marianne Boesky Gallery.

This exhibition is a collaboration between the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program and The Kitchen. Curatorial Participants of the ISP are designated as Helena Rubinstein Fellows in recognition of the long standing support of the Helena Rubinstein Foundation. Support for the Independent Study Program is provided by Margaret Morgan and Wesley Phoa, The Capital Group Charitable Foundation, The New York Community Trust, and the Whitney Contemporaries through their annual Art Party Benefit. Endowment support is provided by Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo, the Dorothea L. Leonhardt Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas, the Dorothea L. Leonhardt Foundation and the Helena Rubinstein Foundation.

H&M To Open Monumental Store In New York City’s Herald Square

On May 20th, H&M, will open its Herald Center flagship, which will become its largest H&M store in the world at noon with a special performance by music icon John Legend. One of the most dynamic shopping destinations in the world, Herald Center is located at the southwest corner of 34th Street where Broadway and Avenue of the Americas converge. The store will be the 13th location in Manhattan, and will become a fashion destination for the millions of New Yorkers and international visitors who pass through Herald Square.

Rendering of H&M Herald Center (PRNewsFoto/H&M)

Rendering of H&M Herald Center (PRNewsFoto/H&M)

Rendering of H&M Herald Center (PRNewsFoto/H&M)

Rendering of H&M Herald Center (PRNewsFoto/H&M)

The store located at 1 Herald Center in Manhattan, New York 10001. New York City has the largest concentration of H&M stores in the country, employing over 1,900 people. The store can be reached by phone at 212-564-3836. Store hours will be Monday through Thursday 9am-10pm, Friday through Saturday 9am-11pm, and Sunday10am to 9pm.

The new store has a custom illuminated store front that wraps around 33rd Street, 34th Street and 6th Avenue. Measuring approximately 63,000 square feet, the store will showcase all of the H&M including H&M’s Home Collection and a special shoe department for ladies and men. It will include four floors of H&M fashion for the entire family including ladies and men’s collections, H&M Sport, H&M Mama, cosmetics and H&M’s children’s collection. Unique store details will include a custom-designed 35 ft. modern glass facade with LCD screen, mirror and terrazzo tile details, as well as an approximately 30 ft. high atrium on the second level. The store will also feature two main street entrances.

The U.S. continues to be one of H&M’s most important expansion markets since its first store opened on New York’s Fifth Avenue thirteen years ago. The Herald Center Flagship is the third flagship to be opened in New York City in the past two years, resulting in the creation of almost 900 new jobs. Now offering U.S. consumers access to quality fashions at the best prices through 361 locations across the country and through Shop Online, H&M is delighted to continue its expansion in its first U.S. city.

To celebrate opening day, Grammy- and Academy-Award winning singer and songwriter John Legend will perform and cut the ribbon and twenty lucky winners will be chosen at random for a meet and greet. In addition, H&M Herald Center will have several exciting giveaways, including Access to Fashion Passes to the first 1,000 shoppers, valued from $10 to $1,000.

H&M customers can help close the sustainability loop in fashion by donating old pieces of clothing. Any customer who donates on opening morning will receive a voucher for 20% off their next purchase for each bag of donated clothing. To kick off the recycling program opening day, customers who bring garments to be recycled before the store opens at 12:00 pm will also have the chance to win H&M gift cards valued between $50 and $100 in addition to receiving the voucher.