Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) and Conductor Marin Alsop Launches “All Together: A Global Ode to Joy”

Marin Alsop Launches Year-Long Worldwide Project With Four Performances in São Paulo from December 12–15 Marking Her Final Concerts as Chief Conductor of São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Start of Her Tenure as Orchestra’s Conductor of Honor

Maestra Alsop To Lead Renowned Orchestras Across Five Continents In Performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Music From Each Local Community, Culminating at Carnegie Hall in December 2020

Creative Work Kicks Off in New York City, Inspired By New Adaptation of “Ode to Joy” by Former US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith

Conductor Marin Alsop leads the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP) in four performances from December 12–15, launching the ambitious worldwide All Together: A Global Ode to Joy project. These concerts are the first of a range of performances including Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony to be led by the visionary conductor across five continents from December 2019 to December 2020 during the 250th anniversary celebration of Ludwig van Beethoven‘s birth.

Carnegie Hall logo

Marin Alsop is an inspiring and powerful voice in the international music scene, a music director of vision and distinction who passionately believes that “music has the power to change lives.” She is recognized across the world for her innovative approach to programming and for her deep commitment to education and to the development of audiences of all ages. She has been music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2007, and she has had two extensions in her tenure, now confirmed until 2021. As part of her artistic leadership in Baltimore, Ms. Alsop has created several bold initiatives: OrchKids, for the city’s young people, and the BSO Academy and Rusty Musicians, for adult amateur musicians. In 2012, she became principal conductor and music director of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, with her contract now extended to the end of 2019, when she becomes Conductor of Honor. In September 2019, she became chief conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Alsop received the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music and Royal Philharmonic Society, and is the director of graduate conducting at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute. She attended Juilliard and Yale, which awarded her an honorary doctorate in 2017.

Photo Credit: Marin Alsop. Photo by Grant Leighton.

All Together: A Global Ode to Joy recasts Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as a 21st-century call for unity, justice, and empowerment, presenting a rare opportunity for major musical institutions to join in a global conversation as part of a common project. Each partner will work with Ms. Alsop to reimagine the concert experience for their own community, incorporating newly created music alongside the symphony and featuring artists from their own region. In each performance, the ”Ode to Joy” will be adapted or translated anew into a local language. From December 2019 through December 2020, concerts will be presented in São Paulo, Brazil; London, England; New York, New York, USA; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; major centers of New Zealand; Sydney, Australia; Vienna, Austria; and Durban and Johannesburg, South Africa.

When the project was first announced this year, Ms. Alsop said, “Beethoven was all about love and joy and celebrating the essence of what it is to be human and what it is to be connected. That’s why we’re launching this project. We want to throw the doors to our concert halls wide open, saying ‘everyone owns this piece, everyone owns this idea, everyone is welcome, and together we’re much stronger.’

All Together: São Paulo

The São Paulo concerts—marking Ms. Alsop’s last as Chief Conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and launching her role as Conductor of Honor—will feature traditional and contemporary music performed between the movements of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and a new text of ”Ode to Joy” into Brazilian Portuguese. The performances explore the legacy of slavery in Brazil from the 19th century to the present, drawing a parallel between the time period during which Beethoven composed his Ninth Symphony and the current affairs of Brazil in that same era.

Joining OSESP on stage at Sala São Paulo for the four concerts are members of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra Choir, OSESP Academic Choir, and The São Paulo State Youth Choir. The first concert onThursday, December 12 will be streamed live as part of a “Digital Concert Hall” broadcast available on OSESP’s website and social media channels, as well as Carnegie Hall’s Facebook page. An additional 160 adult amateur singers join the performance for the final large-scale presentation onSunday, December 15 at Sala São Paulo.

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The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Announces its Schedule of Exhibitions through 2021

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS

The Fullness of Color: 1960s Painting, December 18, 2019–August 2020, Tower Gallery 5

The title of this exhibition was inspired by Systemic Painting, the 1966 Guggenheim exhibition where curator Lawrence Alloway pointed to the emergence of an artistic style that “combined economy of form and neatness of surface with fullness of color.” The Fullness of Color presents artists whose style embodied Alloway’s description. Helen Frankenthaler had pioneered in 1952 the “soak stain” technique, whereby she manipulated thinned acrylic washes into the unprimed cotton fabric of the canvas to produce rich, saturated surfaces. Those who followed over the next decade similarly handled paint as a dye that penetrates the fibers of the canvas rather than as a topical layer brushed over it. Morris Louis and Jules Olitski poured, soaked, or sprayed the paint onto canvases, thus eliminating the gestural stroke that had been central to Abstract Expressionism. Figure and ground became one and the same, united through color. Painters in the 1960s likewise approached relationships between form and color through geometric languages, as shown in works by Kenneth Noland and Paul Feeley. The Fullness of Color is a reflection of the Guggenheim’s historical engagement with this period, highlighting the varied and complex course abstraction followed in the twentieth century through examples of works now characterized as Color Field, geometric abstraction, hard-edge, or systemic painting. This presentation is organized by Megan Fontanella, Curator, Modern Art and Provenance, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Photo David Heald © The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York

Marking Time: Process in Minimal Abstraction, December 18, 2019–July 2020, Tower Gallery 7

During the 1960s and 70s, many artists working with abstraction turned toward minimal approaches. As some of them pared compositional, chromatic, and virtuosic flourishes from their work, a singular emphasis on their physical engagement with materials emerged. The pieces they created—whether characterized by interlocking brush strokes, a pencil moved through wet paint, or a pin repeatedly pushed through paper—call on viewers to imaginatively reenact aspects of the creative process. It is a distinctly empathetic mode of engagement that relies on an awareness of one’s own body, as inhabited and inhabiting time, and, perhaps even more important, a consciousness of the embodied experiences of others. Featuring an international array of paintings and works on paper by Agnes Martin, Roman Opałka, Park Seo-bo, and others, this presentation selected from the Guggenheim Museum’s collection explores this tendency, while considering its rise in multiple milieus and how artists used it to individualized ends. This exhibition is organized by David Horowitz, Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Countryside, The Future, February 20–August 14, 2020, Rotunda

Countryside, The Future, is an exhibition addressing urgent environmental, political, and socioeconomic issues through the lens of architect and urbanist Rem Koolhaas and Samir Bantal Director of AMO, the think tank of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). A unique exhibition for the Guggenheim Museum, Countryside, The Future will explore radical changes in the rural, remote, and wild territories collectively identified here as “countryside,” or the 98% of the earth’s surface not occupied by cities, with a full rotunda installation premised on original research. The project presents investigations by AMO, Koolhaas, with students at the Harvard Graduate School of Design; the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing; Wageningen University, Netherlands; and the University of Nairobi. The exhibition will examine the modern conception of leisure, large scale planning by political forces, climate change, migration, human- and non-human ecosystems, market driven preservation, artificial and organic coexistence and other forms of radical experimentation that are altering the landscapes across the world. Countryside, The Future is organized by Troy Conrad Therrien, Curator of Architecture and Digital Initiatives, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas and Samir Bantal, Rita Varjabedian, Anne Schneider, Aleksander Zinovev, Sebastian Bernardy, Yotam Ben Hur, Valentin Bansac, with Ashley Mendelsohn, Assistant Curator, Architecture and Digital Initiatives, at the Guggenheim. Key collaborators include Niklas Maak, Stephan Petermann, Irma Boom, Janna Bystrykh, Clemens Driessen, Lenora Ditzler, Kayoko Ota, Linda Nkatha, Etta Mideva Madete, Keigo Kobayashi, Federico Martelli, Ingo Niermann, James Westcott, Jiang Jun, Alexandra Kharitonova, Sebastien Marot, Fatma al Sahlawi and Vivian Song.

Away from the Easel: Jackson Pollock’s Mural, March 28, 2020–February 28, 2021, Thannhauser Gallery 4

This focused exhibition is dedicated to Jackson Pollock’s 1943 Mural, the artist’s first large-scale painting. Mural has not been on view in New York in over twenty years, and this occasion marks its debut at the Guggenheim since the extensive research and restoration project undertaken by the Getty Conservation Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Visionary collector Peggy Guggenheim commissioned Mural for the first floor entrance hall of her Manhattan townhouse, prior to Pollock’s first solo exhibition at her museum-gallery Art of This Century later that same year. Guggenheim’s early support of Pollock’s work arguably established his career. The year 1943 likewise represents a pivotal moment in the evolution of Pollock’s artistic style; though not yet working on the floor and from all sides, the artist began to challenge traditional notions of painting, combining the technique of easel painting with that of mural production, all while further experimenting with abstraction. Away from the Easel: Jackson Pollock’s Mural is organized by Megan Fontanella, Curator, Modern Art and Provenance. Generous funding for Away from the Easel: Jackson Pollock’s Mural is provided in part by Mnuchin Gallery.

Knotted, Torn, Scattered: Sculpture after Abstraction Expressionism, March 28, 2020–February 28, 2021, Robert Mapplethorpe Gallery/Tower 4

In the spring of 2020, the Guggenheim will include Jackson Pollock’s groundbreaking, large-scale painting Mural (1943) in the exhibition Away from the Easel: Jackson Pollock’s Mural. In conjunction with this presentation, Knotted, Torn, Scattered: Sculpture after Abstraction Expressionism will consider the legacy of Pollock’s influential painting through work by Guggenheim collection artists from the 1960s and early 1970s, including Lynda Benglis, Robert Morris, Senga Nengudi, Richard Serra, and Tony Smith. The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to view sculptures and installations by a generation of artists who saw in Pollock’s visionary practice urgent questions about scale, materials, process, and environment. This exhibition is organized by Lauren Hinkson, Associate Curator, Collections.

Gego: The Emancipated Line, October 9, 2020–March 21, 2021, Rotunda

In fall 2020, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will present the first major New York museum retrospective devoted to the work of Gertrud Goldschmidt, also known as Gego (b. 1912, Hamburg, Germany; d.1994, Caracas, Venezuela). The exhibition within the first five ramps of the rotunda will chart the evolution of the artist’s distinctive approach to abstraction through her organic forms, linear structures, and systematic, spatial investigations. This chronological and thematic survey will include approximately 200 works of historical significance from the early 1950s to the early 1990s, including sculpture, drawings, prints, artist books, and textiles. A trained architect and engineer at the Technische Hochschule of Stuttgart, Gego fled Nazi persecution in 1939 and immigrated to Venezuela, where she remained for the rest of her life. This presentation will showcase her development across multiple disciplines as well as ground her practice within the emerging artistic movements of the second half of the twentieth century. The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue will demonstrate Gego’s significant formal and conceptual contributions to modern and contemporary art, highlighting her intersections with key transnational art movements including Geometric Abstraction and Kinetic Art in the 1950-60s, and Minimalism and Post-minimalism in the 1960-70s. The Guggenheim Museum has a distinguished history of presenting groundbreaking solo exhibitions of modern and contemporary artists whose work aligns with the founding mission championing abstract art, including Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin and James Turrell. Expanding upon this legacy, the presentation aims to advance the understanding and appreciation of Gego’s work within the larger global context of twentieth century modernism. Gego: The Emancipated Line is organized by Pablo León de la Barra, Curator at Large, Latin America, and Geaninne Gutiérrez-Guimarães, Associate Curator, with the support of Kyung An, Assistant Curator, Asian Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Sarah Sze, October 9, 2020–March 21, 2021, Rotunda Ramp 6 and Tower Gallery 7

In fall 2020, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will present a special exhibition by Sarah Sze (b. 1969, Boston) that will immerse visitors in today’s generative proliferation of images through painting, sculpture, print, sound, video and photography. Beginning on the sixth ramp of the rotunda, a site-specific installation of works created by the artist will trace the museum’s architecture and culminate at the apex of the Frank Lloyd Wright building in Tower 7, with the New York premiere of Timekeeper (2016), from the museum’s collection. Monumental, multisensory, and kaleidoscopic, Timekeeper combines everyday objects—a table from the artist’s studio, scraps of paper, shards of mirrored glass, potted plants—with whirling video projections of things in motion—a bird in flight, churning waves, a running cheetah. Embedded in this living scaffolding of experience and memory are digital clocks indicating time from around the world, underscoring the multiple simultaneities of human existence. This presentation brings together the diverse elements that embody the artist’s meditation on the various ways in which the passage of time is experienced and attests to Sze’s unprecedented approach to materials and space. With this exhibition, the museum builds upon its distinguished history of championing the visionary engagements of living artists with Frank Lloyd Wright’s unique architecture. This presentation is organized by Nancy Spector, Artistic Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator with Kyung An, Assistant Curator, Asian Art.

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Walker Art Center presents SQÜRL Live Performance to Silent Films by Man Ray

Director Jim Jarmusch and composer Carter Logan (aka avant-garde post-rock duo SQÜRL) perform live to four surrealist and dreamlike silent films by artist Man Ray. They’ll create the semi-improvisational scores onstage in Walker Cinema, with loops, synthesizers, and effected guitars that display the band’s experimental, ambient, and drone-like tendencies. Featuring Le retour à la raison (Return to Reason) (1923), Emak Bakia (1926), L’étoile de mer (The Starfish) (1928), and Les mystères du château de dé (The Mysteries of the Château de Dé) (1929). 68 min.

Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan of Sqürl, 2019. Photo courtesy Sara Driver.

SQÜRL is an enthusiastically marginal rock band from New York City who like big drums & distorted guitars, cassette recorders, loops, feedback, sad country songs, molten stoner core, chopped & screwed hip-hop, and imaginary movie scores. SQÜRL began in 2009 when Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan teamed with producer/engineer Shane Stoneback to record some original music for the film The Limits of Control.

Following these scoring sessions Jarmusch, Stoneback, and Carter continued to record new originals while also exploring the back-alleys of American country, noise, and psychedelia. In 2014, SQÜRL collaborated with Dutch lutenist Jozef Van Wissem to compose and perform the score for the film Only Lovers Left Alive. Bridging ancient and modern sounds, the score serves as a reflection of the distinct textures of Detroit and Tangier. Following their work on Only Lovers Left Alive, Jarmusch and Logan began a new live sonic exploration: scoring four silent films by American Dada and Surrealist artist Man Ray. The performance had its live debut in NYC in 2015 and SQÜRL have continue to tour with the films to this day. With their 2016 score for the film Paterson, SQÜRL dove deeper into the ocean of ambient electronic music on a quest for new ecstatic sounds to enrich the poetry of the film. The following year, the band released EP #260 on Sacred Bones Records, embracing their darker approach to density, tension, elation and release.

Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan of Sqürl. Photo courtesy the artists.

The band’s most recently released recording—the score to the The Dead Don’t Die—is a true expression of where SQÜRL stand at the center of a decade of sonic exploration. It is the culmination of their passion for analog synthesis and guitar violence. It is at once a tribute to the classic sounds of horror and sci-fi, as well as a decapitation of traditional film scores. It is naturally supernatural.

2020 will find SQÜRL back on the road and in support of their upcoming release: a tribute to the legendary cinematographer Robby Müller.


Films by Man Ray, Music by SQÜRL
 
takes place Friday, February 7 at 7 pm in the Walker Cinema. Tickets are $25 ($20 Walker members, students, and seniors). Visit walkerart.org/cinema for tickets and info.

These titles by Man Ray are also in the Walker Art Center’s Ruben/Bentson Moving Image collection. Major support to preserve, digitize, and present the Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection is generously provided by the Bentson Foundation.

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Kehinde Wiley: Rumors of War to be Permanently Installed at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on Dec. 10

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) will celebrate the permanent installation of Kehinde Wiley’s sculpture Rumors of War on Dec. 10, at its entrance on historic Arthur Ashe Boulevard in Richmond, Virginia. The unveiling will begin at 3:30 p.m. and is open to the public. The program will include remarks by Kehinde Wiley; The Honorable Ralph Northam, Governor of Virginia; The Honorable Levar Stoney, Mayor of the City of Richmond; Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO; Dr. Monroe Harris, VMFA’s President of the Board of Trustees; and Valerie Cassel Oliver, VMFA’s Sydney and Francis Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art and Sean Kelly, founder, Sean Kelly Gallery.

Kehinde Wiley’s Rumors of War unveiled in New York City’s Times Square, New York on Sept. 27, 2019

The event will begin with a performance by Richmond’s All City High School Marching Band, featuring students from high schools across the city, and conclude with a reception for the public in the museum’s Cochrane Atrium, with live music and refreshments.

First unveiled in Times Square, New York on Sept. 27, 2019 as a partnership between Times Square Arts, Sean Kelly Gallery and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Rumors of War is Wiley’s first monumental public sculpture and largest work-to-date, continuing the artist’s career-long investigation into the politics of representation, race, gender and power.

Mounted proudly on its large stone pedestal, Rumors of War is the artist’s direct response to the ubiquitous Confederate sculptures that populate the United States, particularly in the American South. Standing at just under three stories tall, Wiley’s sculpture depicts a young, African American figure dressed in urban streetwear and sitting astride a massive horse in a striking pose based on the equestrian monument to Confederate States Army general James Ewell Brown “J.E.B.” Stuart on Richmond’s Monument Avenue.

The inspiration for this work came when Wiley was visiting Richmond for the opening of his retrospective exhibition, Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, at VMFA in June 2016. After encountering the city’s Confederate monuments, the artist felt compelled to extend his stay to study and reflect upon the sculptures and their legacy. “The story starts with going to Virginia and seeing the monuments that line the streets,” Wiley stated at the unveiling of the work in Times Square on September 27, 2019. “But it’s also about being in this black body. I’m a black man walking those streets….What does that feel like to walk a public space, and to have your state, your country, your nation, say this is what we stand by? No. We want more. We demand more. We creative people create more…And today we say yes to something that looks like us. We say yes to inclusivity. We say yes to broader notions of what it means to be an American.”

Rumors of War encourages visitors to consider broader perspectives on traditional narratives of heroism and representation in American history, culture, and with national monuments. In the early 2000s, Wiley created a series of paintings entitled Rumors of War, which explored a repositioning of the iconography of wealth and warfare in historical paintings. The largescale works in this series anachronistically replaced the traditionally white, aristocratic subjects typical of the genre with young, African American men in street clothes.

VMFA Director and CEO Alex Nyerges states, “The installation of Rumors of War at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is a pivotal and historic moment for our museum, for the Commonwealth of Virginia and for the city of Richmond. We hope that the sculpture will encourage public engagement and civic discussion about who is memorialized in our nation and the significance of monuments in the context of American history. We are especially pleased that through the acquisition of this work, the monuments in Richmond will further reflect the incredible diversity of its population.”

Wiley is perhaps best known for his portrait of President Barack Obama and his vibrant portrayals of contemporary African American and African-Diasporic individuals that subvert the hierarchies and conventions of European and American portraiture. Seeking to challenge the lack of representation of black and brown men and women in our dominant visual, historical, and cultural narratives, Wiley’s subjects have ranged from street-cast individuals that the artist encountered while traveling around the world to many of the most important and well-renowned African-American cultural and political figures of our generation, including The Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Michael Jackson, Carrie Mae Weems, and President Barack Obama.

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The Whitney Announces 2020 Exhibition Schedule

It looks as if it will be another banner year of thought-provoking and wide-ranging exhibitions during the coming year at The Whitney Museum of American Art. (And one should not expect any less.) Announcing the schedule for 2020 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, noted: “In 2020 the Whitney will celebrate its ninetieth anniversary and fifth year downtown, so we’ve created a program that truly honors the spirit of artistic innovation both past and present. We remain focused on supporting emerging and mid-career artists, while finding fresh relevance in historical surveys from across the twentieth century. Also turning ninety, Jasper Johns closes out the year with an unprecedented retrospective that will reveal this American legend as never before to a new generation of audiences.”

Exterior shot of the The Whitney building. Photograph by Ben Gancsos ©2016

On February 17 the Museum opens Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945, a major historical look at the transformative impact of Mexican artists on the direction of American art from the mid-1920s until the end of World War II. On October 28, in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a landmark retrospective of the work of Jasper Johns goes on view simultaneously at both museums, paying tribute to the foremost living American artist. In addition, the Whitney will devote exhibitions to Julie Mehretu and Dawoud Bey, prominent midcareer artists. The Mehretu exhibition, co-organized by the Whitney with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, encompasses over two decades of the artist’s work, presenting the most comprehensive overview of her practice to date. In November, Dawoud Bey, one of the leading photographers of his generation, will receive his first full-scale retrospective, co-organized by the Whitney and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

The Whitney Museum of American Art

The Museum will also present Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist—organized by the Phoenix Art Museum—the first exhibition of work by the visionary symbolist in nearly a quarter century; and Working Together: The Photographers of the Kamoinge Workshop, an unprecedented exhibition organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which chronicles the formative years of this collective of Black photographers who lived and worked in New York City. The year will also bring a range of focused exhibitions dedicated to emerging and midcareer artists, including Darren Bader, Jill Mulleady, Cauleen Smith, and Salman Toor, as well as Dave McKenzie and My Barbarian, who continue the Whitney’s commitment to performance and its many forms.

In September the Museum will also unveil David Hammons’s monumental public art installation Day’s End on Gansevoort Peninsula, across the street from the Whitney. The debut of this public artwork will be preceded by an exhibition entitled Around Day’s End: Downtown New York, 1970–1986, which will present a selection of works from the Museum’s collection related to the seminal work that inspired Hammons’s sculpture: Gordon Matta-Clark’s Day’s End (1975).

MAJOR EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS

Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945”, February 17–May 17, 2020

Jacob Lawrence. Panel 3 from The Migration Series, From every Southern town migrants left by the hundreds to travel north.,1940–41. Casein tempera on hardboard 12 × 18 in. (30.5 × 45.7 cm). The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; acquired 1942. © 2019 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The cultural renaissance that emerged in Mexico in 1920 at the end of that country’s revolution dramatically changed art not just in Mexico but also in the United States. With approximately 200 works by sixty American and Mexican artists, Vida Americana reorients art history, acknowledging the wide-ranging and profound influence of Mexico’s three leading muralists—José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Diego Rivera—on the style, subject matter, and ideology of art in the United States made between 1925 and 1945. By presenting the art of the Mexican muralists alongside that of their American contemporaries, the exhibition reveals the seismic impact of Mexican art, particularly on those looking for inspiration and models beyond European modernism and the School of Paris.

Diego Rivera. The Uprising, 1931. Fresco on reinforced cement in a galvanized-steel framework, 74 × 94 1/8 in. (188 × 239 cm). Collection of Marcos and Vicky Micha Levy © 2019 Banco de México–Rivera–Kahlo/ARS. Reproduction authorized by the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature (INBAL), 2019

Works by both well-known and underrecognized American artists will be exhibited, including Thomas Hart Benton, Elizabeth Catlett, Aaron Douglas, Marion Greenwood, Philip Guston, Eitarō Ishigaki, Jacob Lawrence, Isamu Noguchi, Jackson Pollock, Ben Shahn, Thelma Johnson Streat, Charles White, and Hale Woodruff. In addition to Orozco, Rivera, and Siqueiros, other key Mexican artists in the exhibition include Miguel Covarrubias, María Izquierdo, Frida Kahlo, Mardonio Magaña, Alfredo Ramos Martínez, and Rufino Tamayo.

María Izquierdo. My Nieces, 1940. Oil on composition board, 55 1/8 × 39 3/8 in. (140 × 100 cm). Museo Nacional de Arte, INBAL, Mexico City; constitutive collection, 1982 © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City. Reproduction authorized by El Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura, 2019.

Organized by Barbara Haskell, curator, with Marcela Guerrero, assistant curator; Sarah Humphreville, senior curatorial assistant; and Alana Hernandez, former curatorial project assistant. (See previously-posted article here.)

Julie Mehretu, June 26–September 20, 2020

Julie Mehretu, Invisible Sun (algorithm 4, first letter form), 2014, ink and acrylic on canvas 119 1⁄2 × 167 in., private collection, © Julie Mehretu, photograph by Carolina Merlano
Julie Mehretu, Black City, 2007. Ink and acrylic on canvas, 120 x 192 in. (304.8 x 487.7 cm). François Pinault Collection, Paris | Photo credit: Tim Thayer

This mid-career survey of Julie Mehretu (b. 1970; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), co-organized by The Whitney with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), covers over two decades of the artist’s career and presents the most comprehensive overview of her practice to date. Featuring approximately forty works on paper and more than thirty paintings dating from 1996 to today, the exhibition includes works ranging from her early focus on drawing and mapping to her more recent introduction of bold gestures, saturated color, and figuration. The exhibition will showcase her commitment to interrogating the histories of art, architecture, and past civilizations alongside themes of migration, revolution, climate change, and global capitalism in the contemporary moment. Julie Mehretu is on view at LACMA November 3, 2019–March 22, 2020, and following its presentation at the Whitney from June 26 through September 20, 2020, the exhibition will travel to the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (October 24, 2020–January 31, 2021); and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (March 13–July 11, 2021).

Julie Mehretu, Hineni (E. 3:4), 2018, ink and acrylic on canvas, 96 × 120 in., Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle; gift of George Economou, 2019, © Julie Mehretu, photograph by Tom Powel Imaging
Julie Mehretu, Stadia II, 2004, ink and acrylic on canvas, 108 × 144 in., Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, gift of Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn and Nicolas Rohatyn and A. W. Mellon Acquisition Endowment Fund 2004.50, © Julie Mehretu, photograph courtesy of the Carnegie Museum of Art

Julie Mehretu is curated by Christine Y. Kim, associate curator in contemporary art at LACMA, and Rujeko Hockley, assistant curator at the Whitney.

Jasper Johns, Opens October 28, 2020

Jasper Johns (b. 1930), Three Flags, 1958. Encaustic on canvas, 30 5/8 × 45 1/2 × 4 5/8 in. (77.8 × 115.6 × 11.7 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Gilman Foundation, Inc., The Lauder Foundation, A. Alfred Taubman, Laura-Lee Whittier Woods, Howard Lipman, and Ed Downe in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary 80.32. Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Jasper Johns (b. 1930) is arguably the most influential living American artist. Over the past sixty-five years, he has produced a radical and varied body of work marked by constant reinvention. In an unprecedented collaboration, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney will stage a retrospective of Johns’s career simultaneously across the two museums, featuring paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints, many shown publicly for the first time. Inspired by the artist’s long-standing fascination with mirroring and doubles, the two halves of the exhibition will act as reflections of one another, spotlighting themes, methods, and images that echo across the two venues. A visit to one museum or the other will provide a vivid chronological survey; a visit to both will offer an innovative and immersive exploration of the many phases, facets, and masterworks of Johns’s still-evolving career.

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EnChroma Glasses Enable Color Blind Visitors to Experience Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Vibrant Color

EnChroma Color Accessibility Program Supports Museum’s Efforts to Provide a Full and Color Rich Experience to All Visitors

Color blindness affects 350 million people worldwide – 1 in 12 men (8%) and 1 in 200 women (.5%).

EnChroma, Inc. – creators of patented eyewear for color blindness – announced that The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will participate in the EnChroma Color Accessibility Program. Based in Kansas City, Missouri, the museum is making EnChroma eyewear available to color blind visitors so they can experience a fuller range of color as they tour the museum’s collections.

Paul Gauguin. Autumn in Brittany (The Willow Tree), 1889. Gift of Henry W. and Marion H. Bloch, 2015.13.9. Photo: Chris Bjuland and Joshua Ferdinand. Color Blind Conversion Courtesy of EnChroma, Inc. (Photo: Business Wire)

The Nelson-Atkins initiative is being launched in conjunction with a traveling exhibition currently on display at the museum called Access + Ability, on loan from the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. Access + Ability includes an exhibit on EnChroma color blind glasses and the condition of color blindness. The EnChroma glasses were also part of the museum’s Access + Ability exhibit at the prestigious, recently concluded World Economic Forum 2019 in Davos, Switzerland.

We are committed to making the experience of everyone who comes to the museum as rich and complete as possible,” said Anne Manning, Director of Education and Interpretive Programs at the Nelson-Atkins. “It is exciting to be able to offer EnChroma glasses to our visitors who are color blind and know that we are making it possible for them to walk through our galleries and appreciate the range of color in each work of art.”

Backed by science, EnChroma lenses are engineered with special optical filters that remove wavelengths of light where the red and green cones have an excessive overlap in the eyes of people with color vision deficiency. This enables those with red-green color blindness to see colors more vibrantly, clearly and distinctly, helping them to overcome everyday obstacles and frustrations and access more of life’s colorful experiences. To learn more about EnChroma’s Color Accessibility program, contact accessiblity@enchroma.com.

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Culture Watch: Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Announces Short List for the 2020 Hugo Boss Prize

Six artists have been short-listed for the Hugo Boss Prize 2020, the biennial award for significant achievement in contemporary art. The short list is selected by a panel of international curators and critics in recognition of artists whose work is transforming the field. Since its inception in 1996, the prize has consistently functioned as a platform for the most relevant and influential art of the present, and has become a cornerstone of the Guggenheim’s contemporary programming.

On the occasion of the thirteenth Hugo Boss Prize, I’m delighted to announce the finalists for the 2020 cycle,” said Nancy Spector, Artistic Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, and jury chair. “After a rigorous examination of today’s artistic landscape, the jury identified a group of artists whose practices are beacons of cultural impact. While diverse in their approaches and themes, they each exemplify the spirit of experimentation and innovation that the prize has always championed.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York logo

The Hugo Boss Prize recognizes the achievements of both emerging and established artists, and sets no restrictions in terms of age, gender, nationality, or medium. The winner, who will receive a $100,000 honorarium, will be announced in the fall of 2020 and will present a solo exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in spring 2021.

Since its inception in 1996, the Hugo Boss Prize has been awarded to twelve influential contemporary artists: American artist Matthew Barney (1996); Scottish artist Douglas Gordon (1998); Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrč (2000); French artist Pierre Huyghe (2002); Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija (2004); English artist Tacita Dean (2006); Palestinian artist Emily Jacir (2008); German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann (2010); Danish artist Danh Vo (2012); American artist Paul Chan (2014); American artist Anicka Yi (2016); and American artist Simone Leigh (2018). The related exhibitions have constituted some of the most compelling presentations in the museum’s history.

Previous finalists include Laurie Anderson, Janine Antoni, Cai Guo-Qiang, Stan Douglas, and Yasumasa Morimura in 1996; Huang Yong Ping, William Kentridge, Lee Bul, Pipilotti Rist, and Lorna Simpson in 1998; Vito Acconci, Maurizio Cattelan, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, Tom Friedman, Barry Le Va, and Tunga in 2000; Francis Alÿs, Olafur Eliasson, Hachiya Kazuhiko, Koo Jeong-A, and Anri Sala in 2002; Franz Ackermann, Rivane Neuenschwander, Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij, Simon Starling, and Yang Fudong in 2004; Allora & Calzadilla, John Bock, Damián Ortega, Aïda Ruilova, and Tino Sehgal in 2006; Christoph Büchel, Patty Chang, Sam Durant, Joachim Koester, and Roman Signer in 2008; Cao Fei, Roman Ondák,Walid Raad, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul in 2010; Trisha Donnelly, Rashid Johnson, Qiu Zhijie, Monika Sosnowska, and Tris Vonna-Michell in 2012; Sheela Gowda, Camille Henrot, Hassan Khan, and Charline von Heyl in 2014; Tania Bruguera, Mark Leckey, Ralph Lemon, Laura Owens, and Wael Shawky in 2016; and Bouchra Khalili, Teresa Margolles, Emeka Ogboh, Frances Stark, and Wu Tsang in 2018.

The following artists are finalists for the Hugo Boss Prize 2020:

  • Nairy Baghramian (b. 1971, Isfahan, Iran)
  • Kevin Beasley (b. 1985, Lynchburg, Va.)
  • Deana Lawson (b. 1979, Rochester, N.Y.)
  • Elias Sime (b. 1968, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
  • Cecilia Vicuña (b. 1948, Santiago, Chile)
  • Adrián Villar Rojas (b. 1980, Rosario, Argentina)

The Hugo Boss Prize is our most prestigious engagement in the field of arts,” said Mark Langer, CEO and Chairman of HUGO BOSS AG. “We are excited about this diverse and distinguished short list for 2020 and looking forward to the announcement of the winner next fall.

HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2020 SHORT LIST

Nairy Baghramian (b. 1971, Isfahan, Iran) lives and works in Berlin. In an oeuvre that probes the boundaries between the decorative, the utilitarian, and the art object, Baghramian has illuminated new possibilities for sculpture. The artist’s disarming biomorphic forms, made with a range of materials including steel, silicon, resin, and leather, elicit various unexpected art-historical and sociopolitical references, reimagining the workings of the body, gender, and public and private space.

Nairy Baghramian, Stay Downers: Nerd, Fidgety Philip, Dripper, Truant, Backrower and Grubby Urchin, 2017. Various media, dimensions variable
Installation view: Déformation Professionnelle, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2017–18. Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery. Photo: Timo Ohler

Baghramian’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions such as Privileged Points, Mudam Luxembourg—Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (2019), Breathing Spell (Un respire), Palacio de Cristal del Retiro, Madrid (2018); Déformation Professionnelle, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2017); S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent (2016); Nairy Baghramian: Scruff of the Neck (Supplements), Zurich Art Prize, Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2016); Hand Me Down, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2015); Fluffing the Pillows, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Mass. (2013), and Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany (2012); and Class Reunion, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2012).

Kevin Beasley (b. 1985, Lynchburg, Va.) lives and works in New York. Working at the intersection of sculpture, installation, and performance, Beasley constructs revelatory formal and sonic experiences. In works that embed found objects in substances such as resin, foam, and tar, or incorporate unconventionally manipulated audio equipment, he amplifies the cultural resonances of his materials to excavate personal and shared histories of class, race, and institutional power.

Kevin Beasley, Your face is / is not enough, 2016. Performance view: Liverpool Biennial, July 14, 2018. © Kevin Beasley. Photo: Pete Carr, courtesy Casey Kaplan, New York

Beasley has presented and performed in solo exhibitions such as ASSEMBLY, The Kitchen, New York (2019); a view of a landscape, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2018); Kevin Beasley, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2018); Movement V: Ballroom, CounterCurrent Festival, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, Houston (2017); Hammer Projects: Kevin Beasley, Hammer Museum at Art + Practice, Los Angeles (2017); Rubbings, Kim? Contemporary Art Center, Riga, Latvia (2017); and inHarlem: Kevin Beasley, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2016).

Deana Lawson (b. 1979, Rochester, N.Y.) lives and works in New York. Her large-format photographs channel vernacular, art-historical, and documentary traditions within the medium, in compositions that valorize black diasporic culture. Picturing individuals she encounters over the course of her everyday life within carefully staged domestic settings, Lawson choreographs every nuance of scenery, lighting, and pose to create tableaux that powerfully evoke the agency of her subjects.

Deana Lawson, Mama Goma, Gemena, DR Congo, 2014. Pigment print
35 x 44.125 inches (88.9 x 112.1 cm). © Deana Lawson, courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago

Lawson’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions including Deana Lawson, Huis Marseille, Museum voor Fotografie, Amsterdam (2019); Deana Lawson: Planes, The Underground Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Deana Lawson, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2018); Deana Lawson, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2017); Deana Lawson, The Art Institute of Chicago (2015); and Corporeal, Light Work, Syracuse, N.Y. (2009).

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