“When all her influences click into place, the result is like little else, in any genre. The pileup of melody often feels luxuriously imaginative.” —Pitchfork
Celebrated as a trailblazing guitarist and formidable band leader as well as an unparalleled jazz artist, improviser, and composer, Mary Halvorson performs with her band Code Girl in concert with singular vocalist Amirtha Kidambi (singing Halvorson’s lyrics), saxophonist and vocalist María Grand, and trumpeter Adam O’Farrill. Bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara (her bandmates from Thumbscrew) also join in. All of the music performed will be from Code Girl’s new album set to be released this fall.
As Halvorson’s songs slip between diverse sonic nodes and songwriting modes, her musical messages offer both encryption and revelation. The bristling collective power trio Thumbscrew, a cooperative in the truest sense, opens.
Guitarist and composer Mary Halvorson has been described as “a singular talent” (Lloyd Sachs, JazzTimes), “NYC’s least-predictable improviser” (Howard Mandel, City Arts), “one of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz—or otherwise” (Steve Dollar, Wall Street Journal), and “one of today’s most formidable bandleaders” (Francis Davis, Village Voice). In recent Downbeat Critics Polls Halvorson has been celebrated as guitarist, rising star jazz artist, and rising star composer of the year, and in 2019 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship.
Halvorson has released a series of critically acclaimed albums on the Firehouse 12 label, from Dragon’s Head (2008), her trio debut featuring bassist John Hébert and drummer Ches Smith, expanding to a quintet with trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon on Saturn Sings (2010) and Bending Bridges (2012), a septet with tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and trombonist Jacob Garchik on Illusionary Sea (2014), and finally an octet with pedal steel guitarist Susan Alcorn on Away With You (2016). She also released the solo recording Meltframe (2015), and most recently debuted Code Girl (2018), a new ensemble featuring vocalist Amirtha Kidambi (singing Halvorson’s own lyrics), trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, saxophonist and vocalist María Grand, bassist Michael Formanek, and drummer Tomas Fujiwara.
One of New York City’s most in-demand guitarists, over the past decade Halvorson has worked with such diverse musicians as Tim Berne, Anthony Braxton, Taylor Ho Bynum, John Dieterich, Trevor Dunn, Bill Frisell, Ingrid Laubrock, Jason Moran, Joe Morris, Tom Rainey, Jessica Pavone, Tomeka Reid, Marc Ribot and John Zorn. She is also part of several collaborative projects, most notably the longstanding trio Thumbscrew with Michael Formanek on bass and Tomas Fujiwara on drums.
The concert takes place on Saturday, February 8, at 8 pm in the McGuire Theater. Tickets are $26 ($20.80 Walker members).
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
Program Features Tina Satter / Half Straddle; Miguel Gutierrez; Ligia Lewis, and Back to Back Theatre
OUT THERE IS BACK WITH 20/20 VISION. Through a range of theatrical aesthetics, this year’s slate of international artists engage us with revelatory works by turns playful and dark, political and personal, gothic and supernatural. They interrogate labels and preconceptions, the artificial and the organic. This year, two artists new to the Walker and two returning favorites push back and look forward, reframe and reposition. Their concerns are ours: identity, race, sexuality, and the meaning of intelligence.
“Is This A Room is a beautiful work—impassioned yet made with a cool hand; straight-faced yet often funny. It is also devastating because damn, the real world is a hell of a writer.” —Artforum
After the FBI interrogated Reality Winner, a 25-year-old former Air Force linguist, the transcript of the encounter ignited director Tina Satter’s theatrical imagination. Satter’s company Half Straddle replicates, word by word, the verbal dance between the whip-smart Winner and reality-twisting agents, demonstrating how military interrogation tactics, toxic masculinity, and systemic marginalization resulted in her conviction for espionage. Funny and suspenseful, engaging and enraging, the production re-creates one afternoon spent in a bizarre and secret world—the turning point of a personal life wrenched irrevocably into the political. Program length: 70 minutes.
Tina Satter is an American writer and director for theater and film who was a recipient of a 2016 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Impact Award, and was named an Off-Off Broadway Innovator to Watch by Time Out New York. With Half Straddle, she has written and directed ten original full-length plays, and re-imagined them for a range of spaces as they have toured to numerous theaters and festivals in the U.S. and internationally.
Meet the Artists
Thursday, January 9: Post-show reception with the artists in Cityview Bar
Friday, January 10: Post-show Q&A with the artists onstage.
January 16–17, 8pm, January 18 4pm & 8pm, Walker Commission
“A dense, audacious and wickedly funny work that…contains multitudes and unflinchingly bears their weight.”—New York Times
Movement artist Miguel Gutierrez‘s second Walker commission provocatively investigates identity politics, Latinx clichés, and Western concepts of form, drawing from (in part) the influences of the groundbreaking 1981 feminist anthology This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color. Gutierrez and five diverse Latinx performers amplify stereotypes to move past respectability politics within an unstable environment of bodies, light, sound, and text (in Spanish, with surtitles). The chaotic, playfully erotic production concludes with an over-the-top version of an absurdist telenovela. Contains nudity and sexual content. Program length: 90 minutes.
Miguel Gutierrez is a choreographer, composer, performer, singer, writer, educator and advocate who has lived in New York for over twenty years. He is fascinated by the time-based nature of performance and how it creates an ideal frame for phenomenological questions around presence and meaning-making. His work proposes an immersive state, for performer and audience alike, where attention itself becomes an elastic material. He believes in an approach to art making that is fierce, fragile, empathetic, political, and irreverent.
Meet the Artists
Thursday, January 16: Post-show reception with the artists in Cityview Bar
Friday, January 17: Post-show Q&A with the artists onstage
beautifully constructed dance worlds of Seattle-based choreographer
Wallich meld with the gloriously ornate theatrical music of
pop/electronic hero Perfume
Genius to create the evening-length The
Sun Still Burns Here. This radical integration of dance and
live music features outstanding performers burning through a
postmodern swirl of classical and contemporary movement. The piece
delves into what the artists describe as “a spiritual unraveling of
romantic decay.” (Seattle Times).
Kate Wallich is a Seattle-based choreographer, director and educator. Named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2015, she has left a significant mark in the Pacific Northwest through commissions and presentations from leading local, national and international institutions including: On the Boards, Seattle Theater Group, Velocity Dance Center, Seattle Art Museum, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Whim W’Him and Northwest Dance Project, Walker Art Center with Liquid Music, MASS MoCa, The Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out, Newfields/IMA, ICA Boston, Danse and SPOTLIGHT: USA in Bulgaria. In 2010, she co-founded her company The YC with Lavinia Vago and has gone on to create five evening-length works and three large-scale, site-specific works with the company. Also in 2010, she founded an all-abilities, community-focused class Dance Church® (no religious affiliation) which reaches over 550+ attendees per week and is taught weekly by professional dance artists in New York City, Seattle, Portland, Indianapolis, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and more. Dance Church has partnered with local and national organizations including Gibney, Mark Morris Dance Center, LA Dance Project, Newfields/IMA, BodyVox, Adidas Studio London, Velocity, On the Boards, The Sweat Spot, Design Week Portland and goop among others.
“Mike Hadreas, the artist better known as Perfume Genius, has always been a physically expressive performer, and he’s made dance a crucial part of his generally stunning live shows and videos. And now he’s about to make it a focus.” —Stereogum
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Night of 11 Experimental Dance Works Plus 2 Preshow Performances Curated by SuperGroup
Minnesota dance and performance while expanding a post-Thanksgiving
tradition at the Walker, this year’s Choreographers’ Evening
is curated by SuperGroup—the deliriously inventive
performance collaboration of Erin Search-Wells, Sam
Johnson, and Jeffrey Wells. The evening features a diverse
array of 13 fresh, provocative, compelling, and experimental works by
ever-evolving local dancemakers.
Evening 2019 features Emily Gastineau, Erika Hansen, Mathew
Janczewski, Cecil Neal, Leah Nelson, Margaret Ogas, Sharon Picasso,
Eva Reed and Piper Rolfes, Kayla Schiltgen, Judith H. Shuǐ Xiān,
Deja Stowers, Shanan Tolzin and Kristina de Sacramento, and
curating the evening, SuperGroup said, “We chose the pieces for
Choreographers’ Evening based on our group instinct. From years of
creating together, we’ve developed a strong interest in performance
that is densely layered; work that considers a multitude of complex
issues in a multitude of ways and leaves room for disagreement and
incongruity. In some ways, we approached curating this evening as we
might the creation of our own work—looking for ways that varied
content, forms, and concepts can coexist and converse. Reorganizing
how we see the world by building, contradicting, engaging, and
reflecting with and for each other.”
Pre-show Performancesm 3:30 & 6:30 pm Come early to experience a preshow featuring two performances by Erika Hansen and Leah Nelson that take place in the public spaces or lobby of the McGuire Theater (locations to be announced). Both pieces occur concurrently on a loop for the duration of the preshow. Then take a seat in the theater for a showcase of 11 performances.
a performance collaboration of Erin
Search-Wells, Sam Johnson,
a Minneapolis-based performance collaboration. Since forming in 2007,
have presented work at venues across the Twin Cities including the
Lake Bowl, the Red Eye, Bedlam Theatre, the Ritz,
and the Walker
as well as nationally at the Invisible
Dog Art Center
(NYC, presented by the Joyce Theater), Velocity
Dance Projects/Temple University
(Philadelphia), and ODC
work has been supported through commissions from the Walker Art
Center, the Red Eye Theater, and the Southern
and through grants from the Jerome
Touring Network, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council of MN, the MN
State Arts Board,
and the McKnight
latest projects include:
an episodic series of 10 shows happening monthly at the Bryant Lake
a new performance that
will be developing in part through a MANCC residency in 2020, and the
recently published performance score/script In
Which _______ and Others Discover the End,
co-created with Rachel
and available through Plays Inverse