The Walker Arts Center continues to flesh out what is considerably a very dynamic exhibition schedule for the next two years. Additions to the Walker Art Center’s 2020–2021 exhibition schedule include two new solo exhibitions by female artists, Faye Driscoll: Thank You for Coming(February 27–June 14, 2020) and Candice Lin(April 17–August 29, 2021) as well as a Walker collection show of women artists, Don’t let this be easy(July 16–March 14, 2021). For her first solo museum exhibition, Faye Driscoll incorporates a guided audio soundtrack, moving image works, and props to look back across the entirety of her trilogy of performances Thank You For Coming—Attendance(2014), Play(2016), and Space(2019)—works that were presented and co-commissioned by the Walker and subsequently toured around the world over the past six years. Another newly added exhibition, Candice Lin, is the first US museum solo show by the artist, co-organized by the Walker Art Center and the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts (CCVA). Lin is creating a site-specific installation that responds to the space of the gallery at each institution, allowing the shape of the work to evolve over the course of its presentation.
The Walker-organized exhibition Don’t let this be easy highlights the diverse and experimental practices of women artists spanning some 50 years through a selection of paintings, sculptures, moving image works, artists’ books, and materials from the archives.
The initiative is presented in conjunction with the Feminist Art Coalition (FAC), a nationwide effort involving more than 60 museums committed to social justice and structural change.
Other upcoming exhibitions include An Art Of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960–2018 (February 16–September 20, 2020), a survey of six decades of Johns’ work in printmaking drawn from the Walker’s complete collection of the artists’ prints including intaglio, lithography, woodcut, linoleum cut, screenprinting, lead relief, and blind embossing; The Paradox of Stillness: Art, Object, and Performance (formerly titiled Still and Yet) (April 18–July 26, 2020), is an exhibition that rethinks the history of performance featuring artists whose works include performative elements but also embrace acts, objects, and gestures that refer more to the inert qualities of traditional painting or sculpture than to true staged action.
Additional exhibitions include Michaela Eichwald’s (June 13–November 8, 2020) first US solo museum presentation, bringing together painting, sculpture, and collage from across the past 10 years of her practice; Designs for Different Futures (September 12, 2020 – January 3, 2021)—a collaborative group show co-organized by the Walker Art Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago—brings together about 80 dynamic works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may encounter in the years, decades, and centuries to come; Rayyane Tabet(December 10, 2020– April 18, 2021), a solo show by the Beirut-based multidisciplinary artist featuring a new installation for the Walker that begins with a time capsule discovered on the site of what was once an IBM manufacturing facility in Rochester, Minnesota.
AN ART OF CHANGES: JASPER JOHNS PRINTS, 1960–2018, February 16–September 20, 2020
When Jasper Johns’s paintings of flags and targets debuted in 1958, they brought him instant acclaim and established him as a critical link between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. In the ensuing 60 years, Johns (US, b. 1930) has continued to astonish viewers with the beauty and complexity of his paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints. Today, he is considered one of the 20th century’s greatest American artists.
In celebration of the artist’s 90th birthday, An Art of Changes surveys six decades of Johns’s work in printmaking, highlighting his experiments with familiar, abstract, and personal imagery that play with memory and visual perception in endlessly original ways. The exhibition features some 90 works in intaglio, lithography, woodcut, linoleum cut, screenprinting, and lead relief—all drawn from the Walker’s comprehensive collection of the artist’s prints.
Organized in four thematic sections, the show follows Johns through the years as he revises and recycles key motifs over time, including the American flag, numerals, and the English alphabet, which he describes as “things the mind already knows.” Some works explore artists’ tools, materials, and techniques. Others explore signature aspects of the artist’s distinctive mark-making, including flagstones and hatch marks, while later pieces teem with autobiographical imagery. To underscore Johns’s fascination with the changes that occur when an image is reworked in another medium, the prints will be augmented by a small selection of paintings and sculptures.
Curator: Joan Rothfuss, guest curator, Visual Arts.
Exhibition Tour Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh: October 12, 2019–January 20, 2020 Walker Art Center, Minneapolis: February 16–September 20, 2020 Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan: October 24, 2020–January 24, 2021 Tampa Art Museum, Florida: April 28–September 6, 2021
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.”
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 thePhiladelphia 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 theLos 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).
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.
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).
EXHIBITIONS AND EVENTS
Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945”,
February 17–May 17, 2020
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
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
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.)
Mehretu, June 26–September 20, 2020
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).
Mehretu is curated by Christine Y. Kim, associate curator
in contemporary art at LACMA, and Rujeko Hockley, assistant
curator at the Whitney.
Johns, Opens October 28, 2020
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.
The Museum of Modern Art announces Just Above Midtown: 1974 to the Present, for fall 2022. It will be the first museum exhibition to focus exclusively on Just Above Midtown (JAM), an art gallery and self-described laboratory for African American artists and artists of color that was led by Linda Goode Bryant from 1974 until 1986.
located in the heart of New York’s major commercial gallery
district, JAM was founded by Linda Goode Bryant with
the explicit purpose of “being in but not of the art world.”
By the time JAM closed its doors, it had established itself as
one of the most vibrant and influential alternative art spaces in New
York, embracing work by abstract, self-taught artists, organizing
groundbreaking exhibitions that thematized the idea of mixture in art
and society, and fostering critiques of the commercialization of art.
legacy continues today through the work of artists it supported early
on in their careers, such as David Hammons, Butch Morris, Senga
Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady and Howardena Pindell. The
MoMA exhibition will present works previously shown at JAM, in
a wide range of mediums. Archival material and artist interventions
will contextualize the experimental ethos that defined the gallery.
In addition to the expansive exhibition, the project will include
performances, screenings, and public programs.
JAM’s founder worked at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Studio Museum in Harlem before founding Just Above Midtown at age 23. After closing the gallery, Goode Bryant dedicated herself to filmmaking, directing the critically acclaimed documentary Flag Wars (2003) with Laura Poitras. In 2009, Goode Bryant started Project Eats, an urban farming initiative for black and brown communities in New York City that, like JAM, uses existing resources to provide cultural sustenance.
J. Lax, Curator, Department of Media and Performance and
organizer of the exhibition explains, “This exhibition
acknowledges Just Above Midtown as the efflorescent space where many
of the artists who now are recognized as the most important figures
of the second half of the 20th century were first supported. This
ambitious project not only historicizes JAM’s importance, but also
brings its relevance to the present.”
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.