The Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition Donald Judd, to go on view in The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Center for Special Exhibitions in The David and Peggy Rockefeller Building from March 1 through July 11, 2020, will be the first major US retrospective dedicated to Donald Judd (1928–1994) in over three decades. Presented solely at MoMA, the exhibition will explore the remarkable vision of an artist who revolutionized the history of sculpture, highlighting the full scope of Judd’s career through some 60 works in sculpture, painting, and drawing, from public and private collections in the US and abroad. Donald Judd is organized by Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, and Yasmil Raymond, Associate Curator, with Tamar Margalit, Curatorial Assistant, and Erica Cooke, Research Fellow, Department of Painting and Sculpture, MoMA.
Donald Judd was among a generation of artists in the 1960s who sought to entirely do away with illusion, narrative, and metaphorical content. He turned to three dimensions as well as industrial working methods and materials in order to investigate “real space,” by his definition. Donald Judd will survey the evolution of Judd’s work, beginning with his paintings, reliefs, and handmade objects from the early 1960s; through the years in which he built an iconic vocabulary of works in three dimensions, including hollow boxes, stacks, and progressions made with metals and plastics by commercial fabricators; and continuing through his extensive engagement with color during the last decade of his life.
“Half a century after Judd established himself as a leading figure of his time, there remains a great deal to discover,” said Temkin. “MoMA’s presentation will emphasize the radicality of his approach to art-making and the visual complexity of his work.”
“We want to commend the leadership of MoMA, Ann Temkin, and her team for their in-depth research and their substantial commitment towards this significant exhibition. Don’s work remains as vital today as it was when he created it. We appreciate MoMA providing the opportunity for a new generation to engage with his work in New York,” said Rainer Judd, President, Judd Foundation.
exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue. The
essays included in the catalogue will examine subjects fundamental to
Judd’s work and thinking, including methods of fabrication, his
early paintings and sketchbooks, his relationship with museums, his
interest in site-specific work, and his activities in the realms of
design and architecture.
exhibition is made possible by Hyundai Card.
support is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.
The Whitney Museum of American Art has announced a series of live performances and activations presented in conjunction with the exhibition Jason Moran. Featuring both renowned and emerging artists and ensembles, the series is curated by interdisciplinary artist Jason Moran (b. 1975) and Adrienne Edwards, the Whitney’s Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance. Moran’s eponymous solo museum exhibition, organized by the Walker Art Center, opens at the Whitney on September 20, 2019. Performances and activations include the Jazz on a High Floor in the Afternoon series, as well as two marquee events showcasing Moran in collaboration with artist Kara Walker, and three concerts with his long-running trio The Bandwagon, featuring bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits. Advance tickets for select events are available at whitney.org.
The performance program commences with Jazz on a High Floor in the Afternoon. Cross-enerational artists activate Moran’s three mixed-media “set sculptures” —STAGED: Savoy Ballroom 1 (2015), STAGED: Three Deuces (2015), and STAGED: Slugs’ Saloon (2018). Each installation pays homage to an iconic New York jazz venue. Eighty-two-year-old jazz saxophone legend Archie Shepp will be joined by Moran for an intimate in-gallery performance to launch the series on September 27 at 7 pm. Joanne Brackeen, Oliver Lake, Michela Marino Lerman’s Love Movement, Cecil McBee, Onyx Collective, Tiger Trio, Fay Victor, and Jamire Williams will also perform within the installations as part of the series.
“The artist David Hammons once said to me during a dinner party: ‘Jazz should happen on a high floor…in the afternoon,’” explained Moran. “Hammons’s statement goes against the late-night, smoky basement, dimly lit, jam session club scene. These sessions, minus the smoke, happen every night here in New York. During the exhibition, musicians will come to perform on a high floor, with an understanding of the basement.“
Taking jazz outside for a free outdoor event on the Museum’s largo on October 12, Moran joins artist Kara Walker for the New York debut of Katastwóf Karavan (2018), a steam-powered calliope housed in a parade wagon that will be installed and activated outside the Museum for a one-day-only presentation. Featuring the steam whistle typical of a calliope, the custom-fabricated instrument is programmed by Walker with a compilation of jazz, gospel, and songs that, in Walker’s words, represent both “Black protest and celebration.” During the Whitney activation, the calliope will play at set times throughout the afternoon on the Museum’s outdoor largo. Moran will play the calliope live at sunset.
Walker created Katastwóf Karavan for the Prospect.4 Triennial in New Orleans as a site-specific commission that debuted in 2018. Drawing on the calliope’s associations with nineteenth-century New Orleans riverboats, as well as the steam engine and other Industrial Revolution-era inventions like the cotton gin, the work’s layered references reveal connections between the history of the city’s cultural landscape and slavery in the American South. Walker conceived the caravan, with her signature silhouette imagery, in response to the inadequacy of a memorial plaque at Algiers Point, identifying a former holding site on the Mississippi where enslaved Africans were abused and quarantined before transportation to slave markets across the river. Titled to incorporate the Haitian Creole word that in English translates to “catastrophe,” Katastwóf Karavan interrogates the way in which these dehumanizing and violent experiences have been historicized and underexamined. Through collaboration between image and sound, Walker and Moran create an alternative register—with “music as bearer of our emotional history,” as Walker describes—for those catastrophic forces that have shaped culture into the present.
From December 19 to 21, The Bandwagon—pianist Jason Moran, bassist Tarus Mateen, and drummer Nasheet Waits—performs a twenty-year history with music, stories, and images. The piano trio is a mainstay in the jazz tradition; trios led by Ahmad Jamal and Bill Evans have defined a style that has continued to evolve. When the Bandwagon emerged in the late ‘90s, the group quickly found language that sounded fluid and miscalculated. This would become their signature sound, which led to a groundbreaking movement as much dedicated to the past as to—more importantly—its conceptual futures.
Mateen, and Waits first began performing together in 1998 as the
rhythm section of the band New Directions (named after legendary jazz
drummer Jack DeJohnette’s 1978 album). In late 1999, after the New
Directions group disbanded, Moran, who had recently signed to Blue
Note Records, began touring with Mateen and Waits, billed as the
Jason Moran Trio. Soon after, they began referring to themselves as
The Bandwagon. In 2000, Moran released Facing Left with The
Bandwagon, the first of more than six albums featuring the ensemble.
All events are presented in conjunction with the exhibition Jason Moran, which includes the range of art Moran has explored, from his own sculptures and drawings to collaborations with visual artists to performance and video. Filling the Whitney’s eighth floor galleries, the exhibition is overseen at the Whitney by Adrienne Edwards, the Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance, with Clémence White, curatorial assistant. Edwards originated the exhibition at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 2018.
Moran Performances: Schedule and Ticketing Details
Curated by celebrated jazz pianist, composer, and visual artist Jason Moran and Whitney performance curator Adrienne Edwards, the series features live in-gallery performances, activations, and evening concerts presented in conjunction with Moran’s first solo museum exhibition on view at the Whitney from September 20, 2019 through January 5, 2020. For complete ticket information and schedule, please visit whitney.org.
on a High Floor in the Afternoon
are required ($25 adults; $18 members, students, seniors, and
visitors with a disability) for Friday and Saturday afternoon Jazz on
a High Floor in the Afternoon performances and include Museum
admission. Tickets for performances during Pay-What-You-Wish hours
(Fridays, 7–10 pm) will be distributed day–of, on a first come
first served basis at the Museum starting at 7 pm.
Shepp with Jason Moran,
Friday, September 27, 7 pm, Gallery, Floor 8
Shepp with Lafayette Harris & Avery Sharpe,
Saturday, September 28, 4 pm, Gallery, Floor 8
Victor with Anthony Coleman,
Ratzo Harris, and Tom Rainey, Friday, October 18, 5 and 7 pm,
Gallery, Floor 8
Victor with Darius Jones and Christopher Hoffman,
Saturday, October 19, 2 and 4 pm, Gallery, Floor 8
Opening September 27 at The Whitney, Order and Ornament: Roy Lichtenstein’s Entablatureswill present a concentrated selection of fifteen works on paper related to the artist’s Entablatures Series, as well as a display of preparatory materials. The first exhibition at the Whitney devoted to the artist since the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation’s transformative gift of the Roy Lichtenstein Study Collection, this focused look at a single pivotal series illustrates how the gift allows the Museum to examine the artist’s work in new ways.
An agreement between the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation and the Whitney established The Roy Lichtenstein Study Collection, initiated with a promised gift from the Foundation of over 400 examples of Lichtenstein’s work in all media and from all periods of his working career, from the early 1940s to the artist’s death in 1997. The collection comprises paintings, sculptures, prints, photographs, drawings, tracings, collages, and maquettes by the artist, as well as studio materials selected to represent Lichtenstein’s artistic practice and process. The Foundation’s planned gifts to other institutions in addition to the Whitney will encourage collaborations between the Museum and a host of other institutions throughout the country and internationally.
Order and Ornament: Roy Lichtenstein’s Entablatures, organized by David Crane, curatorial fellow, will be on view in the Susan and John Hess Family Gallery on the Museum’s third floor.
and Ornament highlights Lichtenstein’s inventive processes and
techniques across drawings, collages, prints, photographs, and
archival materials, including one of the artist’s sketchbooks. The
works included in the capsule presentation range from
never-before-exhibited photographic studies that initiated the
Entablatures series in the early 1970s to the technically complex
prints that form its culmination in 1976. Inspired by the
architectural facades and ornamental motifs the artist encountered
around Wall Street and elsewhere in Lower Manhattan, the works in the
exhibition address many of Lichtenstein’s central artistic themes
while demonstrating a unique emphasis on texture, surface, relief,
Named for the horizontal structures that rest atop the columns in Classical Greek architecture, Lichtenstein’s Entablatures Series represents a distinctly American derivative, one based in revivalist, industrialized imitations that were built en masse in the early twentieth century. By isolating these, Lichtenstein traces the effect of mass production and replication on cultural forms, much as he had done in his earlier Pop paintings of comics and consumer goods. A sustained investigation into pattern and repetition, the Entablatures series also underscores the echoes of Classical order embedded within the contemporaneous serial structures of Minimal sculpture and Color Field painting.
“The Entablatures series is an incredibly rich body of work, representing a high watermark for material experimentation in Lichtenstein’s career. Multilayered in its formal and conceptual references, the series offers an incisive and drily ironic look at the intersection of contemporary art, Classical and modern architecture, and hackneyed emblems of, in the artist’s words, ‘the establishment,’” said Crane.
The first solo museum show of Jason Moran (b. 1975, Houston, Texas), the interdisciplinary artist who grounds his work in music composition, will make its New York debut at the Whitney September 20, 2019. Jason Moran, which originated at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in the spring of 2018, presents the range of art Moran has explored, from his own sculptures and drawings to collaborations with visual artists to performance and video.
An immersive installation will fill the Whitney’s eighth floor galleries from September 20, 2019 through January 5, 2020. The exhibition will be activated by in-gallery musical performances by the artist himself and by other musicians throughout the run of the show. Two marquee events unique to the Whitney’s presentation will include the New York premiere of Kara Walker’s Katastwóf Karavan (2018), a steam-powered calliope housed in a parade wagon, and a special twentieth anniversary concert for Moran’s trio, The Bandwagon.
Jason Moran is overseen at the Whitney by Adrienne Edwards, the Engell Speyer Family Curator and Curator of Performance, who originated the show at the Walker.
A renowned musician and composer known for jazz styles from stride piano to free improvisation, Moran’s experimental approach to artmaking aligns objects with sound in an effort to underscore their inherent theatricality. Whether executed through the medium of sculpture, drawing, or sound, his works bridge the visual and performing arts. In all aspects, Moran’s creative process is informed by one of the essential tenets of jazz music: the “set,” in which musicians come together to engage in a collaborative process of improvisation, riffing off of one another to create the musical experience.
Moran is one of the most vital and boundary-breaking creative voices
of our time, and his wide-ranging collaborations with other visual
and performing artists have had a profoundly generative effect on
their work as well as on his own artistic development,”
remarked Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s Senior Deputy Director and
Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator. “This exhibition
extends the Whitney’s long and vibrant history of presenting
artists who traverse the boundaries of the visual and performing arts
and brings together so many artists who are dear to the Museum. We’re
thrilled the show marks Adrienne Edwards’s curatorial debut in our
galleries and also Jason’s return to the Whitney, following his
appearances in Glenn Ligon: AMERICA in 2011 and our Biennial the
Jazz pianist, composer, and performance artist Jason Moran was born in Houston, Texas in 1975 and earned a degree from the Manhattan School of Music in 1997, where he studied with Jaki Byard. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010 and has been the Artistic Director for Jazz at the Kennedy Center since 2014. Deeply invested in reassessing and complicating the relationship between music and language, Moran’s extensive efforts in composition, improvisation, and performance challenge the status quo while respecting the accomplishments of his predecessors.
is heartening to have the national tour of Jason’s exhibition
culminate in New York City, where he and so many of his collaborators
live and make their work. New York is where jazz has evolved, and the
venues that fostered it are referenced directly in the major
sculptures that serve as stages within the show,” noted
Edwards. “Presenting the exhibition at the Whitney makes for
a double ‘homecoming,’ since Jason and his collaborators have
long-standing histories with the Museum, having exhibited here or
featuring in our collection. Taking its cue from Jason’s art and
that of his collaborators, this show questions the boundaries between
artistic disciplines and how they are presented. It is a solo show
that is also a group show; it takes place in neither a white cube nor
a black box theater or nightclub, but rather in an in-between space
that is some combination of them all. It is a survey exhibition, yet
holds together like a singular art installation—at times a visual
art show and at other times a performance venue.”
Jason Moran, which originated at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in the spring of 2018, and has traveled nationally to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and theWexner Center for the Arts, considers the artist’s solo and collaborative works as generative investigations that further the fields of experimental jazz, performance, and visual art. Shown together for the first time in this exhibition, Moran’s mixed-media “set” installations STAGED: Savoy Ballroom 1 (2015), STAGED: Three Deuces (2015), and STAGED: Slugs’ Saloon (2018) pay homage to iconic jazz venues of New York’s past. Collaboration has been central to Moran’s experiments, and among the many artists with whom he has collaborated are Stan Douglas, Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin, Theaster Gates, Joan Jonas, Glenn Ligon, Julie Mehretu, Adam Pendleton, Lorna Simpson, and Carrie Mae Weems. These collaborative works are exhibited here, many in a synchronized loop arranged by Moran on projection screens. Moran’s original musical scores and a recent selection of his charcoal drawings from the ongoing Run series, which give sculptural presence to sound, are also featured in the exhibition.
Sculptural vignettes based on storied New York City music venues, Moran’s STAGED works reimagine the architecture of these cultural landmarks and double as concert stages. STAGED: Savoy Ballroom 1 and STAGED: Three Deuces were part of Moran’s contributions to the 2015 Venice Biennale international exhibition All the World’s Future, curated by Okwui Enwezor. The latest sculpture from the series, STAGED: Slugs’ Saloon (2018), was commissioned for this exhibition by the Walker Art Center. Each is integrally connected to the social history and real politics of the venues for which they are named—important sites of invention and innovation in jazz that were also testing grounds of American policies of nondiscrimination at the height of the Jim Crow period of segregation.
The legendary Savoy Ballroom, which operated between 1926 and 1958 on Lenox Avenue in Harlem, was synonymous with the Swing Era and presented legendary big bands and performers, including Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway, Chick Webb, and Count Basie. Moran’s STAGED: Savoy Ballroom 1 is lined with an ornate Dutch wax print fabric and features a lush curving wall and overhanging ceiling. The sculpture’s pristine veneer seems counter to the repetitive and droning prison work songs that emanate from speakers. Midtown Manhattan’s Three Deuces club, which operated on 52nd Street from the mid-1940s to 1950s, was an incubator for bebop pioneers like Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Max Roach. To evoke this seminal venue with STAGED: Three Deuces, Moran uses pale vinyl padding compressed under a barely eight-foot-tall ceiling and focuses on the corner of a room to conjure the compressed dimensions of the original venue.
Similarly, STAGED: Slugs’ Saloon pays homage to the celebrated East Village jazz venue that presented music from 1964 to 1972 on East Third Street. Often referred to as a “jazz dive”, Slugs’ Saloon showcased free jazz and some of the most important avant-gardists of the era, including Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, and Sun Ra. While the original space was described as narrow and oftentimes tightly packed, Moran’s Slugs’ Saloon is open with two mirrors flanking the stage and a multitier platform with a wooden floor that holds a vintage upright piano and drum set. The lower level holds a single chair and Wurlitzer Americana II jukebox, programmed with whistling tunes and samplings of audience incantations from the Village Vanguard.
Moran’s drawings from the Run series, originally shown at Luhring Augustine in 2016 for his first gallery exhibition, offer highly gestural entrees into the artist’s process. To create the works, Moran tapes elongated pieces of paper on the keys of a piano or keyboard and caps his fingers with charcoal. The paper then catches the movements of his playing. Reminiscent of Robert Morris’s series of Blind Time drawings, the works also bring to mind David Hammons’s basketball drawings and body prints or the impromptu drawings created by Joan Jonas during live performances. Achieved through acts of repetition, the Run series reveals the usually private and deliberate process of jazz composition and the artist’s performance practice, offering viewers an intimate view of his body’s movements in relation to the piano.
Projects and collaborations, central to Moran’s practice, are represented in the exhibition through the presentation of the artist’s work with leading visual artists. Since 2005, Moran has completed four collaborations with pioneering video performance artist Joan Jonas, and the evolution of much of Moran’s visual work, such as his extension of performance techniques to the process of drawing in the Run series or his transposition of traditional cultural forms into contemporary art, can be tracked through his work with Jonas. Moran first collaborated with Jonas on the music for The Shape, the Scent, the Feel of Things, an opera performed for the first time in 2005 at Dia: Beacon, and later on Reading Dante (2007–10), Reanimation (2012), and They Come to Us without a Word II (2015). For his first foray into filmmaking, artist Glenn Ligon tapped Moran to compose the score for Death of Tom (2008), an abstract re-creation of a scene from Edwin S. Porter’s fourteen-minute silent film version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. In Stan Douglas’s six-hour, single-channel film Luanda-Kinshasa (2013) depicting a fictional jazz-funk band in a recording session sometime in the mid-1970s, Moran appears as the band leader and worked with Douglas on song sequencing for this intricately composed film.
Exclusive to the presentation of Jason Moran at the Whitney will be the temporary installation of Kara Walker’s Katastwóf Karavan (2018) outside in front of the Museum. A steam-powered calliope housed in a parade wagon featuring silhouetted scenes on all four sides in Walker’s distinctive style, Katastwóf Karavan debuted in 2018 at the Prospect.4 Triennial in New Orleans. Katastwóf Karavan takes its title from the Haitian Creole phrase for “caravan of catastrophe” and alludes to the subjugation, violence, and humiliation of life for African Americans in the Antebellum South. The work also plays songs and sounds programmed by Walker and Moran that the artists associate with the long history of African American protest music. In the Prospect.4 Triennial, Moran played the work live via keyboard for two improvised performances. Moran will present another improvised performance with the work at the Whitney in October 2019.
Moran’s recording and performing activity has included collaborations with masters of the jazz form, including Charles Lloyd, Bill Frisell, and the late Sam Rivers. His work with his acclaimed trio The Bandwagon (with drummer Nasheet Waits and bassist Tarus Mateen) has resulted in a profound discography for Blue Note Records. Moran has a long-standing collaborative practice with his wife, the mezzo-soprano and composer Alicia Hall Moran. For the 2012 Whitney Biennial, together they organized BLEED, a five-day performance gathering that featured more than ninety performers, including Rashida Bumbray, Bill Frisell, Joan Jonas, Lorraine O’Grady, Esperanza Spalding, and Kara Walker. In 2016, Moran and Hall Moran formed the indie label YES RECORDS. Releases include Moran’s critically-acclaimed live solo piano recording, The Armory Concert (2016), as well as Thanksgiving at the Vanguard (2017), and BANGS (2017). Moran, who teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, has produced several film scores and soundtracks, including the scores for Ava DuVernay’s films Selma and 13th.
Moran’s work has been presented by institutions including the Walker Art Center, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Park Avenue Armory, the Dia Art Foundation, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Harlem Stage, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. His first solo museum exhibition Jason Moran premiered in Minneapolis at the Walker Art Center from April 26 through August 26, 2018 and traveled to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston from September 19 through January 21, 2019. It was on view at the Wexner Center for the Arts through August 11, 2019 before its U.S. finale in Moran’s hometown of New York City at the Whitney.
This exhibition is accompanied by a 272-page publication, published in conjunction with the Walker Art Center’s 2018 exhibition, which considers the artist’s practice and his collaborative works as interdisciplinary investigations that further the fields of experimental jazz and visual art. Edited by Adrienne Edwards, it features an interview with the artist, and essays by Philip Bither, Okwui Enwezor, Danielle Jackson, Alicia Hall Moran, George E. Lewis, and Glenn Ligon. These texts are accompanied by a photo essay by Moran, a section documenting the creation of Moran’s STAGED sculptures, installation views from the Walker, photographs and other ephemera, and a complete list of works included in the Walker exhibition.
Moran is organized by the Walker Art Center, and curated by Adrienne
Edwards with Danielle A. Jackson. The Whitney’s presentation is
overseen by Adrienne Edwards, the Engell Speyer Family Curator and
Curator of Performance.
Jason Moran is sponsored by Delta. Generous support for Jason Moran is provided by The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Significant support is provided by Norman and Melissa Selby and the Joyce and George Wein Foundation.
Alan Michelson: Wolf Nation presents four works in video, sound, print, and augmented reality that invoke place from an Indigenous perspective. The artist—who is Kanyen’keha:ka (Mohawk), a member of one of the six nations of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy—traverses local landscapes and temporalities in his art, treating geographical sites as archives and exploring territory typically bypassed in American history and largely absent from American memory. Wolf Nation, organized by Chrissie Iles, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Curator, with Clémence White, curatorial assistant, will be on view in the Museum’s fifth floor Kaufman and Goergen Galleries and in the lobby from October 25, 2019 through January 12, 2020.
Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, remarked, “Alan Michelson’s influential practice has critically and poetically foregrounded Indigenous perspectives to reorient how all of us can see history and place. The Whitney is thrilled to present this beautiful and haunting show, and we remain committed to expanding our work with Indigenous artists in both our collection and exhibition and public programs.“
centerpiece of the exhibition is Wolf Nation (2018), an
immersive video installation recently acquired for the Whitney’s
permanent collection. Originally commissioned by Storm
King Art Center, Wolf Nation transforms webcam
footage of red wolves, a critically endangered indigenous species,
into a poignant meditation on displacement. The work links their
possible eradication with that of their namesake, the Wolf
Tribe of the Lenape, also known as the Munsees, whose
homelands encompassed present southern New York and northern New
Jersey. Michelson translates the format and color of wampum
belts—horizontal purple and white beadwork sashes used in
Indigenous diplomacy whose symbolic designs encoded solemn
messages—into panoramic video and sound. Wolf Nation is both
an evocative affirmation of solidarity across species and a stark
appeal to the forces responsible for their persecution.
commented, “American landscape is complicated when you’re
Indigenous. For example, this year is the 240th anniversary of the
Sullivan-Clinton Expedition, George Washington’s brutal invasion
and destruction of Iroquoia, the Haudenosaunee homelands which now
comprise most of New York state. Sixty of our towns, and hundreds of
our houses, farms, crops, orchards, and livestock were burned and
pillaged in a scorched-earth campaign that forced our people from
their lands as homeless refugees. This is only one of the tragic but
unacknowledged legacies that underpin our contemporary landscape.
That history needs to be confronted.”
Also included in the exhibition is Shattemuc (2009), a video installation made for the Henry Hudson Quadricentennial, which retraces part of Hudson’s historic voyage on the river once known as “Shattemuc” to the region’s Indigenous inhabitants. Captured at night in the searchlight beam of a moving boat, the illuminated shoreline progresses from wooded palisade to industrial quarry, riverside town, power plant, and marina, encapsulating the development that followed upon Hudson’s journey. In Shattemuc, as throughout his oeuvre, Michelson appropriates and redirects colonial technologies of mapping and surveillance as well as landscape painting, the moving panorama of the nineteenth century, and other forms.
The soundtracks for Wolf Nation and Shattemuc are composed by White Mountain Apache composer and musician Laura Ortman, whose work was included in the 2019 Whitney Biennial.
Premiering are two new augmented reality works that Michelson produced with artist Steven Fragale, accessed through an interactive app that visitors are invited to download on their devices. Town Destroyer (2019) is an eighteen-foot-long wallpaper mural based on the interior of the mansion at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s historic estate in Virginia, and executed in the style of scenic wallpapers of the period. Inserted into the scene is a bust of Washington that, when viewed through the app, becomes three-dimensional on the screen. Moving images on the virtual bust’s surface and spatial audio tell the story of the brutal Sullivan-Clinton Campaign of 1779, the Washington-ordered invasion and destruction of Iroquoia, the Haudenosaunee homelands that now constitute the bulk of present New York state.
(Tobacco Field), 2019, created for the Museum’s lobby, responds
to the history of the Whitney’s neighborhood, formerly a Lenape
village and tobacco field of the same name. When activated by the
visitor through an app downloaded to their phone, a large circle of
tobacco plants of the variety used ceremonially across Turtle
Island (North America) will appear on the phone screen.
Rustling gently in a virtual wind, the plants, based on those in the
artist’s sister’s garden at Six Nations Reserve, create a duality
of time and place and speak to Indigenous survivance—active
presence and resistance—over four difficult centuries.
Alan Michelson (Mohawk, b. 1953) is an internationally recognized New York-based artist, curator, writer, lecturer, and member of one of the six nations of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy. For over thirty years, working across a diverse range of media and combining meticulous research with a site-based practice grounded in local context, he has critically and poetically uncovered troubling colonial legacies and challenged national myths.
Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, Michelson’s four-channel video installation, was recently featured in the 2019 Venice Biennale, and has also been shown in the eighteenth Sydney Biennale and the fifth Moscow Biennale. His work is in the permanent collections of the Whitney, National Gallery of Canada, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. His practice includes public art, and Mantle (2018), his permanent public monument honoring Virginia’s Indian nations installed at the capitol in Richmond, Virginia, was recognized in the prestigious 2019 Public Art Network Year in Review. The feature article “In the Studio: Alan Michelson” appeared in the December 2018 issue of Art in America. Michelson is co-founder and co-curator, in conjunction with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, of the groundbreaking Indigenous New York series.
noted, “For Alan Michelson, the moving image operates as a form
of witnessing. Wolf Nation resurfaces invisible histories of
place—the forest, the river, the field, and the land—and
translates them into visual imagery that asserts the Indigenous
voice. Distilled from diverse sources, each work is horizontal or
circular in form, echoing Indigenous concepts of time and
space—multi-perspectival and cyclical, rather than monocular and
linear. By creating works that evoke place and historical memory,
Michelson allows his viewers to see Indigeneity—and Native
cultures—as visceral, and lived.”
The Museum of Modern Art announces Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl’s Window, an in-depth solo exhibition exploring the deep ties between the artist’s iconic autobiographical assemblage Black Girl’s Window (1969) and her rare, early prints, made during the 1960s. On view from October 21, 2019, through January 4, 2020,
Saar: The Legends of Black Girl’s Window is drawn almost
entirely from the Museum’s collection, and highlights the recent
acquisition of 42 works on paper that provide an overview of Saar’s
sophisticated, experimental print practice. The exhibition engages
with the themes of family, history, and mysticism, which have been at
the core of Saar’s work from its earliest days, and traces a link
from her printmaking to the assemblages for which she is best known
Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl’s Window is organized by Christophe Cherix, The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator, and Esther Adler, Associate Curator, with Ana Torok, Curatorial Assistant, and Nectar Knuckles, Curatorial Fellow, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art. Saar’s Black Girl’s Window (1969), one of her best known works, is at the heart of this exhibition, which provides an opportunity for a close examination of its myriad details and references. The work also serves as a guide to the larger installation, its signature themes explored through other works that reflect the artist’s lifelong muses, including her three daughters, and a range of astrological and mystical symbols. New research into the construction and materials used to create Black Girl’s Window allows for a direct link to be made between Saar’s prints in the Museum’s collection and the assemblage itself. Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl’s Window is also the first dedicated examination of Saar’s work as a printmaker, demonstrating how her interest in found objects and assemblage appears even in her early works on paper through her experimental practice.
A major figure in postwar art, Betye Saar (b. 1926) has lived and worked in Los Angeles her entire life, and is part of a generation of artists who pursued assemblage there during the 1960s and ’70s, which also included Edward Kienholz, John Outterbridge, and Noah Purifoy. Although best known for sculptures made from found materials, particularly those that challenge derogatory stereotypes of African Americans, Saar’s earliest independent works are prints. Working in a range of techniques, including intaglio and lithography, she created works on paper that reveal a comfort with experimentation and an early interest in incorporating physical traces of the world within her art. The Museum now has the largest public collection of Saar’s printed work, which remains largely unknown even to those familiar with her oeuvre. The prints will be juxtaposed in the exhibition with Black Girl’s Window and a number of other early window assemblages.
exhibition will be accompanied by the catalogue Betye Saar: Black
Girl’s Window, authored by Cherix and Adler, which situates
this iconic work within Saar’s early career, and provides a link
with the decades of work that follow it.
support of the exhibition is provided by The Modern Women’s Fund.
funding is provided by the Alice L. Walton Foundation and the Robert
Lehman Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Friends of
Education of The Museum of Modern Art. MoMA Audio is supported by
Bloomberg Philanthropies. Leadership contributions to the Annual
Exhibition Fund, in support of the Museum’s collection and
collection exhibitions, are generously provided by the Kate W.
Cassidy Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mimi and Peter Haas
Fund, Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, Eva and Glenn Dubin,
The Sandra and Tony Tamer Exhibition Fund, Alice and Tom Tisch, The
David Rockefeller Council, The Contemporary Arts Council, Anne Dias,
Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Kenneth C. Griffin, The Keith Haring
Foundation, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, Jo Carole and Ronald S.
Lauder, and Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro.
contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund are provided by the
Estate of Ralph L. Riehle, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Brett and Daniel
Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, The Marella and Giovanni Agnelli
Fund for Exhibitions, Clarissa Alcock and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Agnes
Gund, and Oya and Bülent Eczacıbaşı.
The Museum of Modern Art announcesDorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, the first major solo exhibition at the Museum of the photographer’s incisive work in over 50 years. On view from February 9 through May 2, 2020, in The Paul J. Sachs Galleries in The David and Peggy Rockefeller Building,
Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures includes approximately 100 photographs drawn entirely from the Museum’s collection. The exhibition also uses archival materials such as correspondence, historical publications, and oral histories, as well as contemporary voices, to examine the ways in which words inflect our understanding of Lange’s pictures. These new perspectives and responses from artists, scholars, critics, and writers, including Julie Ault, Wendy Red Star, and Rebecca Solnit, provide fresh insight into Lange’s practice. Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures is organized by Sarah Meister, Curator, with River Bullock, Beaumont & Nancy Newhall Curatorial Fellow, assisted by Madeline Weisburg, Modern Women’s Fund Twelve-Month Intern, Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art.
Toward the end of her life, Dorothea Lange (1895–1965) remarked, “All photographs—not only those that are so-called ‘documentary,’ and every photograph really is documentary and belongs in some place, has a place in history—can be fortified by words.”
loosely chronologically and spanning her career, the exhibition
groups iconic works together with lesser known photographs and traces
their varied relationships to words: from early criticism on Lange’s
photographs to her photo-essays published in LIFE magazine,
and from the landmark photobook An American Exodus to her
examination of the US criminal justice system. The exhibition also
includes groundbreaking photographs of the 1930s—including Migrant
Mother (1936)—that inspired pivotal public awareness of the
lives of sharecroppers, displaced families, and migrant workers
during the Great Depression. Through her photography and her words,
Lange urged photographers to reconnect with the world—a call
reflective of her own ethos and working method, which coupled an
attention to aesthetics with a central concern for humanity.
seems both timely and urgent that we renew our attention to Lange’s
extraordinary achievements,” said Meister. “Her concern
for less fortunate and often overlooked individuals, and her success
in using photography (and words) to address these inequities,
encourages each of us to reflect on our own civic responsibilities.
It reminds me of the unique role that art—and in particular
photography—can play in imagining a more just society.”
exhibition begins in 1933, when Lange, then a portrait photographer,
first brought her camera outside into the streets of San Francisco.
Lange’s increasing interest in the everyday experience of people
she encountered eventually led her to work for government agencies, 2
supporting their objective to raise public awareness and to provide
aid to struggling farmers and those devastated by the Great
Depression. During this time, Lange photographed her subjects and
kept notes that formed the backbone of government reports; these and
other archival materials will be represented alongside corresponding
photographs throughout the exhibition. Lange’s commitment to social
justice and her faith in the power of photography remained constant
throughout her life, even when her politics did not align with those
who were paying for her work.
A central focus of the exhibition is An American Exodus, a 1939 collaboration between Lange and Paul Schuster Taylor, her husband and an agricultural economist. As an object and as an idea, An American Exodus highlights the voices of her subjects by pairing first-person quotations alongside their pictures. Later, Lange’s photographs continued to be useful in addressing marginalized histories and ongoing social concerns. Throughout her career as a photographer for the US Government and various popular magazines, Lange’s pictures were frequently syndicated and circulated outside of their original context. Lange’s photographs of the 1930s helped illustrate Richard Wright’s 12 Million Black Voices (1941), and her 1950s photographs of a public defender were used to illustrate Minimizing Racism in Jury Trials (1969), a law handbook published after Black Panther Huey P. Newton’s first trial during a time of great racial strife.
This collection-based exhibition would not be possible had it not been for Lange’s deep creative ties to the Museum during her lifetime. MoMA’s collection of Lange photographs was built over many decades and remains one of the definitive collections of her work. Her relationship to MoMA’s Department of Photography dates to her inclusion in its inaugural exhibition, in 1940 which was curated by the department’s director, Edward Steichen. Lange is a rare artist in that both Steichen and his successor, John Szarkowski, held her in equally high esteem. More than a generation after her first retrospective, organized by Szarkowski at MoMA in 1966, Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures uses both historical and contemporary words to encourage a more nuanced understanding of words and pictures in circulation.
The exhibition is accompanied by the catalogue Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, capturing this renewed consideration of Lange’s work through the particular lens of its relationship to words. Contributors to the exhibition and the catalogue include artists and curators Julie Ault, Sam Contis (in collaboration with Tess Taylor), Sandy Phillips, Wendy Red Star, and Sally Mann; scholars and writers Kimberly Juanita Brown, Jennifer Greenhill, Christina Sharpe, Robert Slifkin, and Rebecca Solnit.
exhibition is supported by the Annual