CAGE NAM JUNE: A Multimedia Friendship

Curated by Kenneth Silverman

As part of its Homage to Nam June Paik series, ZONE: Chelsea Center for the Arts celebrates the nearly thirty-five year association between Nam June Paik and John Cage– two uniquely inventive and versatile creators.

In representing the association of these two joyously adventurous artists, ZONE: Chelsea Center for the Arts will exhibit representative scores, videos, music, drawings, photographs, writings, installations, video sculpture, objets sonores, and conceptual art. At the opening night performance on October 5, 7pm, the renowned Cage interpreter, Margaret Leng Tan, will celebrate the Cage-Paik legacy with her toy piano/toy instrumental Hommage à John Cage/Nam June Paik. In addition to the opening night’s event, the gallery will host a panel discussion on October 19, 7pm. The panel consists of the Fluxus artist Alison Knowles, the dancer and dance historian David Vaughan, the vocalist/composer Joan La Barbara and the writer and critic William S. Wilson, four people who knew and worked with Cage and Paik.

 

October 5 – November 3, 2006

 

Opening reception:

Thursday October 5th, 2006

6-8pm

with performance by Margaret Leng Tan

 

 

Panel discussion on October 19, 2006

7pm, with

Alison Knowles

David Vaughan

Joan La Barbara

William S. Wilson

Kenneth Silverman

CAGE NAM JUNE: A Multimedia Friendship, New York Panel Discussion

ZONE: Chelsea Center for the Arts celebrates the nearly thirty-five year association between John Cage and Nam June Paik.  Uniquely adventurous and versatile creators, they worked in music, video, radio, writing, sculpture, film, drama, dance, and graphic arts.

 

Their pasts make the association seem at first unlikely. Born in Los Angeles, the grandson and great-grandson of Methodist ministers, Cage was a college dropout, twenty years older than Paik. Born in Seoul, Korea, to wealthy owners of a textile company, Paik completed a graduate dissertation at the University of Tokyo.

 

The differences marked their earliest contacts. They met in 1958 at the annual International Holiday Courses for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany. As a composer, Cage was already well known for his use of chance operations based on an ancient Chinese text. Having heard that the American called upon Asiatic thought, Paik attended Cage’s concert, he later confessed, with a “very cynical mind.”

 

Cage had early misgivings about Paik, too. In 1960 he attended a performance in Cologne of Paik’s “Etude for Pianoforte.” After playing a few minutes of Chopin, Paik picked up long scissors and jumped off the stage to where Cage was sitting. Then, as Cage recalled the event, Paik “cut off my tie and began to shred my clothes, as if to rip them off of me.” After also pouring over Cage a bottle of shampoo, Paik barged through the crowd and out the door. The ‘Etude,’ Cage said, left him with a “grim memory” of Paik.

 

Yet they came to intensely enjoy and admire each other.  As Paik continued listening to Cage’s music in Darmstadt, he recalled, “slowly, slowly I got turned on. At the end of the concert I was a completely different man.” In his 1991 Two Teachershe remarked that  “Cage means ‘bird cage’ in English, but he didn’t lock me up; he liberated me.” The violence in some of Paik’s performance art—e.g. smashing a violin to bits–remained foreign to Cage, who abhorred violence. Still, when asked what he would miss most if he died tomorrow, he reportedly replied: “The conversation of Nam June Paik.”

 

They especially drew together after 1964, when Paik moved to New York  City, settling into  a loft in Soho. He loved the city, as did Cage. Much as Cage fed into a live electronic piece open telephone lines from Luchow’s Restaurant and Con Edison’s 14thstreet power station, Paik created a set of film sketches about New York, Suite 212 (1977), his title invoking the city’s area code. Cage introduced him around town, and they worked with many of the same people–Laurie Anderson, Joseph Beuys, Merce Cunningham. Paik also performed in concerts and events by Fluxus, the Dada-ish group born out of  Cage’s experimental composition  classes at the New School. 

 

And when apart they often corresponded. Paik-like, Paik sometime sent banal postcards that he comically transformed by funny drawings and cartoons. Once he mailed Cage a greeting card made of bank receipts for bum checks he had written. “Your writing is superb,” Cage replied. “Send me the least little thing you write.”

 

Paik remains best known, of course, for seeing early on and then exploring the artistic possibilities of television. His 1963 show at a gallery in Wuppertal, Germany, was the first exhibition anywhere of Video art.  Later he helped develop the video synthesizer; translating electronic impulses into abstract colors and shapes, it made the cathode ray tube a canvas. Among his many other video creations are human-shaped sculptures built  out of TV monitors, including a video sculpture of Cage. The New York Timesart critic John Canaday called him the “John Cage of the ordinary domestic TV set.”

 

A performer by nature—like Paik—Cage appeared on such popular early television programs as The Henry Morgan Showand I’ve Got A Secret; the Italian TV version of Double or Nothing (as a contestant); and on one of the earliest cable TV programs. He eagerly lent himself to Paik’s many video films. In Paik’s Global Groovehe tells an anecdote; A Tribute to John Cageshows him seated outdoors in Harvard Square, not-playing 4’33”.  For Paik’s ambitious Good Morning Mr. Orwell—a one-hour TV show transmitted by satellite between New York and Paris—Cage not only appeared but also made a lithograph to be sold by Paik in raising the million-dollar production cost. 

 

Cage particularly admired Paik’s Zen for Film—sixty minutes of shapeshifting specks of dust. He preferred it, he said,  “to any film I’ve ever seen before or after. It’s one of the great films.” Paik could be an equally ardent fan, He imagined establishing a Laser TV station to broadcast nothing but John Cage.

 

The current exhibition at ZONE: Chelsea offers some of the looks and sounds of this multimedia friendship—representative scores, music, videos, drawings, photographs,  writings, installations, video sculpture, objets sonores, and conceptual art.

 

 

                                                                                    Kenneth Silverman

 

 

Kenneth Silverman is Professor Emeritus of English at New York University. His books include Timothy Dwight; A Cultural History of The American Revolution; The Life and Times of Cotton Mathe; Edgar A. Poe Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance; HOUDINI!!!.; and Lightning Man: The Accursed Life of Samuel F. B. Morse. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has received the Bancroft Prize in American History, the Pulitzer Prize for Biography, the Edgar Award of the Mystery Writers of America, and the Christopher Literary Award of the Society of American Magicians. Currently he is writing a biography of John Cage.

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MOLLY DAVIES

Zone: Chelsea Center for the Arts is proud to present a retrospective of video installation works by artist Molly Davies.  A film and video artist, Davies started making experimental films in the late 1960s. She became well known in the 1970s for her innovative work with film and performance, collaborating with contemporary choreographers, performers and composers.  The exhibition will focus on Davies’ unique collaboration between mediums and will feature four major installation works spanning three decades. The exhibition will also include a screening booth with Davies’ documentary film performance pieces that were made for the theater.    

 

Her work explores movement of the performing body and film, distilling the everyday to suggest undercurrents of desire, isolation and joy.  Juxtaposing images to create layers of meaning, her work immerses the viewer into striking, poetic worlds, using multiple projections, screens and monitors to enhance the reflexive, abstract themes within the visual/sound compositions. Noted for her richly textured work, Davies brings the complex, subtle rhythms of movement and time altering medium of video into compelling spatial arrangements to provide multiple perspectives on the nuances of the everyday.  

 

The exhibition includes DAVID TUDOR’S OCEAN (1994), a six-channel piece, documenting three performances of the first tour of Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s acclaimed work Ocean, with composer David Tudor and Takehisa Kosugi performing live.  This video/sound installation presents a portrait of David Tudor, detailing process and accumulation.  It is a meditation on the elaborate tableau of electronic music making in relation to the parallel dance making of Merce Cunningham.  The installation takes an imaginative behind-the-scenes look at set-up, rehearsal and live performance.  This work is in the permanent collection of the Walker Art Center, The Getty Research Institute and Musée Art Contemporain Lyon.  (92 minutes continuous loop)

 

Also to be shown will be SEA TAILS (1983), a three-channel, six monitor piece, that integrates an evocative electronic score by David Tudor with film footage of French artist Jackie Matisse’s extraordinary underwater kites.  This mesmerizing work presents the sculptural patterns of Ms. Matisse’s kites as they float, swirl, and shift gracefully and randomly through the oceans’ current, suspending time and space.  Originally presented at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, this piece is in the permanent collection at The Getty Research Institute.  (22 minutes continuous loop)

 

The exhibit will include the premiere of Davies’ work DESIRE(2002), a three-channel, three- screen installation with text by renowned poet Anne Carson.  A quiet drama that centers on a day in the life among three friends, DESIRE is imbued with emotional temporal states juxtaposed with a vibrant colorful landscape. The installation uses color video projected side by side on the wall and three-channels of amplified mono sound. (12 minutes continuous loop)             

 

In PASTIME(1995), a provocative slide/video/sound installation built of layers with three projection surfaces and a sound collage, Davies addresses the beauty and poignancy of the quotidian. The installation, like its subject matter, deals with reflection, light, fragments and distortion as the slides and videos constantly dissolve.  A woman and a boy wrestle on a raft, playing “king of the mountain”. With gestures that suggest love, conflict, power and eroticism, the work reveals the fragility of the moment, of a certain time in a relationship, of a mid-summer day, and the innocence of coming of age.  (12 minutes continuous loop)

 

The exhibition will include several documentations of film and performances pieces created by Davies from 1976-2005.  Among the documented works are Arrivals & Departures(1988); deChirico’s Daughter (1992); Palm at the End of the Mind(1983); Sage Cycle, including Sage Time and Again, Grasslands and Sageand Third Thought(originally created 1976-79, reconstructed in 2005); and Small Circles Great Plains(originally created 1976-79, reconstructed in 2005).

 

Molly Davies has been working as a film and video artist for over 30 years.  For her multimedia performance pieces, she has collaborated with artists John Cage, David Tudor, Michael Nyman, Takehisa Kosugi, Lou Harrison, Alvin Curran, Fred Frith, Suzushi Hanayagi, Sage Cowles, Polly Motley, Jackie Matisse and Anne Carson.  Her work has been presented at the Venice Film Festival, the Centre Pompidou, Musée de l‘Art Moderne de la Ville Paris, Musée Art Contemporain Lyon, The Getty, the Whitney Museum, the Walker Art Center, Asia Society, Theatre Am Turm, The Kitchen, Dance Theater Workshop, La MaMa Etc., Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, and the Indonesian Dance Festival.  She teaches courses in design for inter-media performances at universities in the United States, Europe and Asia.

 

January 12 – March 11, 2006

Opening reception:

Thursday January 12th, 2006

6-8pm

 

 

 

Reviews

 

Asia Society and Museum,
New York, NY
TRADITIONS, INVENTIONS, AND EXCHANGEJune 28 through August 21, 2005
Walker Art Center
Minneapolis, MN
SPACE, TIME AND ILLUSION-
ISSUES OF FILM WITH PERFORMANCE
May 11, 2005
Dance Theatre Workshop
New York, NY
SPACE, TIME AND ILLUSION-
ISSUES OF FILM WITH PERFORMANCE
April 18 & 19, 2005
Zone Chelsea,
New York, NY
DISTANCE BETWEEN GESTURE AND MEANINGSApril 5 through 15, 2005
Smith College, Department of Art
North Hampton, MA
DRAWING FROM THE BODY
Performance
March 8, 2005
Getty Research Institute Exhibition Gallery
Los Angeles, CA
SEA TAILSJuly 13 -September 26, 2004
Bates Museum of Art, Lower Gallery
at
Bates Dance Festival,
Lewiston, ME
TRADITIONS, INVENTIONS, AND EXCHANGEAugust 9 through 16, 2003
2002 Bienalle
Lyon France
Musee Art Contemporain Lyon
DAVID TUDOR’S OCEANMarch, 2002
Texas Gallery
Houston, TX
KAREN TAPESDecember, 2001
Block Gallery
Northwestern University
Evanston, IL
PASTIMESeptember – December, 2001
Getty Museum of Art
Los Angeles, CA
DAVID TUDOR’S OCEANMay, 2001
Argentinian Embassy
New York City, NY
DAVID TUDOR’S OCEANMarch, 2001
The New School for Social Research
New York City, NY
KAREN TAPESMarch 1st, 2001
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA
DRAWING FROM THE BODY
Performance / Video Installation
February – May, 2001
Mingei International Museum
San Diego, CA
SEA TAILSApril – November, 2000
Santa Cruz Museum of Art
and History
Santa Cruz, CA
MIGRATION
DISLOCATION
BRANCUSI’S BASKETS
July – November, 2000
The Kitchen
New York City, NY
MARGUERITE
Summer Residence with Polly Motley
June, 2000
Selby Gallery
Sarasota, Florida
“PLUGGED IN”
Installations of:
DRESSING
DISLOCATION
BRANCUSI’S BASKETS
March – April, 2000
Mousonturm
Frankfurt A/M, Germany
DRAWING FROM THE BODY
Performance/ Video
Installation
August 24,25, 1999
Flynn Theater
Stowe, Vermont
aJune – July, 1999
Jack Tilton Gallery
New York, NY
DRAWING FROM THE BODY
Performance/Video Installation
February 24, 1999
The Galleries at Moore
Philadelphia, PA
SEA TAILSJanuary 22-March 14, 1999
Jack Tilton Gallery
New York, NY
DRAWING FROM THE BODY
Performance/ Video
Installation
December 10, 1998
Walker Arts Center
Minneapolis, MN
DAVID TUDOR’S OCEAN
Video Installation
June 28- Sept 21, 1998
Deutschlandfunk
Redaktion E-Musik
Köln, Germany
DAVID TUDOR’S OCEAN
Video Installation
March, 1998
The Kitchen
New York, NY
DAVID TUDOR’S OCEAN
Video Installation
Oct 30 – Nov 26, 1997
Dancespace
New York, NY
IN THE MANNER OF
EDWARD HOPPER
October, 1996
Judson Memorial Church
New York, NY
DAVID TUDOR’S OCEAN
Video Installation
September 17, 1996
Naropa Institute
Boulder, CO
BROWNIEFAXJanuary, 1996
Kitchen Center for Video and Music
New York, NY
YOU CAN SING ANY TIMEApril, 1995
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO
YOU CAN SING ANY TIMEMarch, 1995
Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
Lee, MA
FOLK DANCE
YOU CAN SING ANYTIME
August, 1994
Movement Research
New York, NY
WAITINGDecember, 1993
Dance Theatre Workshop
New York, NY
FOLK DANCESeptember, 1993
Naropa Institute
Boulder, CO
SUPERFICIAL DISSOLVEMay, 1993
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO
DE CHIRICO’S DAUGHTER
PART II
May, 1992
Naropa Institute
Boulder, Co
DE CHIRICO’S DAUGHTER
PART I
February, 1992
Justus Liebig University
Giessen, Germany
REICHE OHNE SINNE PROJECTJanuary – February, 1991
University of Colorado
Boulder, CO
COLLABORATION WITH POLLY MOTLEYApril, 1991
Heiner Müller Project
Frankfurt, Germany
“BILDBESCHREIBUNG”April, 1990
La Mama E.T.C.
New York, NY
MANA GOES TO THE MOONJanuary 9-27, 1990
Theatre am Turm
Frankfurt, Germany
ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURESApril 20 – 24, 1988
Tampere Theater Festival
Finland
ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURESAugust 15-16 1988
La Mama E.T.C.
New York, NY
ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURESMay 5-29, 1988
Whitney Museum of American Art at Phillip Morris
New York City, NY
SEA TAILSSeptember 17, 1986
The Albuerque Museum of Art, History and Science
Albuquerque, New Mexico
SAGE CYCLE Part III
SMALL CIRCLES GREAT PLAINS
June 22, 1985
Theatre Am Turm
Frankfurt, Germany
ATEMJune 6, 1985
Centre Georges Pompidou
Paris, France
Comissionedwork from TAT
PALM AT THE END OF THE MIND
PREPARING THE GROUND
May 24-26, 1985
Theater am Turm
Frankfurt, Germany
Commissioned work from TAT
PREPARING THE GROUND
April 18-21, 1985
May 28-31, 1985
Wesleyan College
Middletown, CT
SAGE CYCLE ALL PARTS:
I. SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
II.GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
III.SMALL CIRCLE GREAT PLAINS

&
PALM AT THE END OF THE MIND
January 25-26, 1985
Collective for Living Cinema
New York, NY
BEYOND THE FAR BLUE MOUNTAINSJanuary 12, 1985
Fine Arts Museum
Taipei, Taiwan
SEA TAILSAugust, 1984
Museum of Modern Art
Stockholm, Sweden
SEA TAILSAugust 21, 22, 24, 1984
Akademie der Kunste
Berlin, Germany
PARIS PIECEJune 22, 1984
Center Georges Pompidou
Paris, France
SEA TAILSJune 3-27, 1984
Saarbruken
Germany
BEYOND THE FAR BLUE MOUNTAINSJune 4, 1984
Kammer Theater
Wurttembergische Staats-Theater
Stuttgart, Germany
THE PALM AT THE EDGE OF THE MIND
&
SAGE CYCLE ALL PARTS:
I. SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
II.GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
III.SMALL CIRCLE GREAT PLAINS
June 29, 1984
Akademie Der Kunst
Berlin, Germany
SEA TAILSFebruary 1 – 5 1984
Theatre Am Turm
Frankfurt, Germany
Retrospective:
THE PALM AT THE END OF THE MIND
THE WEATHER WAS PERFECT
SMALL CIRCLES GREAT PLAINS
SAGE CYCLE
BEYOND THE FAR BLUE MOUNTAINS
ATEM
SEA TAILS
October 27 – 31, 1983
The Walker Arts Center
Minneapolis, MN
BEYOND THE FAR BLUE MOUNTAINSMay 7 – 8, 1983
Kommonales Kino
Stuttgart, Germany
THE WEATHER WAS PERFECT
BEYOND THE FAR BLUE MOUNTAINS
4-Feb-83
Arsenal
Berlin, Germany
THE WEATHER WAS PERFECT
BEYOND THE FAR BLUE MOUNTAINS
November, 1982
Wurttembergische Staats-theater
Stuttgart, Germany
THE WEATHER WAS PERFECTOctober 31, 1982
Walker Art Center
Minneapolis, MN
THE WEATHER WAS PERFECTSeptember 19, 1982
Venice Film Festival
Venice, Italy
BEYOND THE FAR BLUE MOUNTAINSSeptember 3, 1982
Cabrillo Music Festival
Aptos, California
BEYOND THE FAR BLUE MOUNTAINSAugust 21, 1982
Basel Art Fair (Stampa)
Basel, Switzerland
BEYOND THE FAR BLUE MOUNTAINSJune 21, 1982
Amerika Haus
Munich, Germany
BEYOND THE FAR BLUE MOUNTAINSJune 16, 1982
Centre Georges Pompidou
Pairs, France
BEYOND THE FAR BLUE MOUNTAINSJune 10-11 1982
Hampshire College
Amherst, MA
SAGE CYCLE Part III
SMALL CIRCLES GREAT PLAINS
16-Feb-81
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI
SAGE CYCLE Part III
SMALL CIRCLES GREAT PLAINS
7-Feb-81
Kunsthaus
Zurich, Switzerland
SAGE CYCLE Part III
SMALL CIRCLES GREAT PLAINS
May, 1981
Kunstehalle
Basel, Switzerland
SAGE CYCLE Part III
SMALL CIRCLES GREAT PLAINS
May 20-21 1981
Akademie der Kunst
Berlin, Germany
SAGE CYCLE ALL PARTS:
I. SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
II.GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
III.SMALL CIRCLE GREAT PLAINS
May 12-14, 1981
Sprengel Museum
Hannover, Germany
SAGE CYCLE ALL PARTS:
I. SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
II.GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
III.SMALL CIRCLE GREAT PLAINS
May 9-10, 1981
Theater Am Turm
Frankfurt, Germany
SAGE CYCLE Part III
SMALL CIRCLES GREAT PLAINS
April 25 – 28, 1981
Centre Georges Pompidou
Paris, France
SAGE CYCLE Part III
SMALL CIRCLES GREAT PLAINS
April 22-23, 1981
The Mickery
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
SAGE CYCLE ALL PARTS:
I. SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
II.GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
III.SMALL CIRCLE GREAT PLAINS
April 7 – 11, 1981
April 14 – 18, 1981
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Boston, Massachusetts
SAGE CYCLE Part III
SMALL CIRCLES GREAT PLAINS
March 1st, 1981
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Montreal, Canada
SAGE CYCLE Part III
SMALL CIRCLES GREAT PLAINS
27-Feb-81
Smithsonian Institution
Hirshorn Museum
Washington, D.C.
SAGE CYCLE ALL PARTS:
I. SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
II.GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
III.SMALL CIRCLE GREAT PLAINS
February 21 – 23, 1981
Stowe Center for the Performing Arts
Stowe, Vermont
SAGE CYCLE Part III
SMALL CIRCLES GREAT PLAINS
February 24-25, 1981
Hampshire College
Amherst, MA
SAGE CYCLE Part III
SMALL CIRCLES GREAT PLAINS
16-Feb-81
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI
SAGE CYCLE Part III
SMALL CIRCLES GREAT PLAINS
7-Feb-81
Walker Arts Center
Minneapolis, MN
SAGE CYCLE Part I
SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
October, 1980
Cabrillo Music Festival
Aptos, CA
SAGE CYCLE Part III
SMALL CIRCLES GREAT PLAINS
August, 1980
Walker Arts Center
Minneapolis, MN
SAGE CYCLE Part III
SMALL CIRCLES GREAT PLAINS
May and June, 1980
Rising Sun Video Center
Santa Fe, New Mexico
SAGE CYCLE Part I & II
SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
May, 1980
Musee d’Art de Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Paris, France
SAGE CYCLE ALL PARTS:
I. SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
II.GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
III.SMALL CIRCLE GREAT PLAINS
December, 1979
University of Wisconsin
Madison, WI
SAGE CYCLE Part I & II
SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
March, 1979
Department of Dance and Architecture
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
SAGE CYCLE Part I & II
SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
November, 1978
IDEA Gallery
Los Angeles, CA
SAGE CYCLE Part I & II
SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
November, 1978
University of California
San Diego, CA
SAGE CYCLE Part I & II
SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
November, 1978
American Contemporary Dance Company/ Seattle Art Museum
Seattle, Washington
SAGE CYCLE Part I & II
SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
November, 1978
Pittsburgh Filmmakers
Pittsburgh, PA
SAGE CYCLE Part I & II
SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
November, 1978
Walker Art Center
Minneapolis, MN
SAGE CYCLE Part I
GLASSLANDS AND SAGE
May, 1978
Cunningham Studio, Westbeth
New York, NY
SAGE CYCLE Part I
GLASSLANDS AND SAGE
May, 1978
San Francisco Museum of Art
San Francisco, CA
SAGE CYCLE Part I
GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
April, 1978
Anthology Film Archives
NYC, NY
SAGE CYCLE Part I & II
SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
February, 1978
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Boston, MA
SAGE CYCLE Part I & II
SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
January, 1978
Cabrillo Music Festival
Aptos, CA
SAGE CYCLE Part I & II
SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
GRASSLANDS AND SAGE
August, 1977
THE KITCHEN
New York, NY
SAGE CYCLE Part I
SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
&
ABOUT THE LILTING HOUSE
April, 1977
Walker Art Center
Minneapolis, MN
SAGE CYCLE Part I
SAGE TIME AND AGAIN
&
ABOUT THE LILTING HOUSE
March, 1977
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U CAN’T TOUCH DIS: THE NEW ASIAN ART

Curated by Eric C. Shiner

ZONE: Chelsea Center for the Arts is proud to present U Can’t Touch Dis: The New Asian Art. Presenting the work of 18 young artists, many showing in New York for the first time, U Can’t Touch Disintroduces a cacophony of voices, images, sounds and sites that transform the traditional aesthetic tropes of Asian art into a new visual language based on global currents in new wave music, fashion, aesthetics and pop culture. These artists, from across Asia and the Asian diaspora in the West, create the “New Asian Art,” a philosophical nexus of production that is changing the face of Asia and indeed the world. From Satanicpornocultshop’s hybrid mix of pop, experimental and death metal music to Saya Woolfalk’s entryway soft sculpture and video installations that revolve around scarily cute depictions of life and death, the New Asian Artists included in the exhibition break the rules of race, class and gender normativity, creating dynamic works that are smart, troubling, beautiful and eclectic in equal measure. Many of the artists in the exhibition throw the idea of “Asia” into the trash bin, instead identifying themselves as part of a truly global flow of information, identities and positions. Some have punk rock sensibilities, whereas others are old-school academics with a penchant for releasing the oft talked about “other”; no matter their stance, they make art that screams out in rebellion, whether subtle in nature or too hot to touch.

 

The exhibition includes works ranging from painting (Lisha Bai, Yun Bai, Toby Barnes, MinKim, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Ramya Ravisankarand Yoskay Yamamoto) to sculpture (Susan Lee-Chun, Brendan Fernandes and Saya Woolfalk), as well as photography (Young Chung, Tomoaki Hata, Hiroshi Mori, Shen Wei, O Zhang), conceptual design (Goil Amornvivat), fashion (Angel Chang) and music (Satanicpornocultshop). 

September 6 – October 13, 2007

 

Opening reception:

Thursday September 6th, 2007

6-8pm

 

Artists in exhibition:

Lisha Bai

Yun Bai

Toby Barnes

MinKim

Tomokazu Matsuyama

Ramya Ravisankar

Yoskay Yamamoto

Susan Lee-Chun

Brendan Fernandes

Saya Woolfalk

Young Chung

Tomoaki Hata

Hiroshi Mori

Shen Wei

O Zhang

Goil Amornvivat

Angel Chang

Satanicpornocultshop

Eric C. Shiner is an independent curator and art historian specializing in contemporary art. He holds Masters degrees in the History of Art from Yale University and Osaka University, where he studied under the auspices of the Japanese government’s Ministry of  Education. His scholarly focus is on the concept of bodily transformation in postwar Japanese photography, painting and performance art. Shiner was an assistant curator of the Yokohama Triennale 2001, Japan’s first ever large-scale exhibition of international contemporary art, is the curator of Making a Home:  Japanese Contemporary Artists in New York at Japan Society in October 2007, and  will be co-curator of the exhibition Simulasian at the inaugural Asian Contemporary Art Fair, New York in November 2007. He is an active writer and translator, a contributing editor for Art AsiaPacific magazine, and an adjunct professor of Asian art history at Pace University in New York.

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JACKIE MATISSE: New Art Volant

ZONE: Chelsea Center for the Arts is pleased to present an exhibition of artworks by Jackie Matisse that span a period of more than 20 years. Included will be examples of her famous hand-made kites and kite tails, mobiles, collages, assemblages, and graphic works. Video presentations of her collaborative projects on display include a film, “Tailing a Dream,” (1985)with composer David Tudor and filmmaker Molly Davies, and “Art Flying In & Out of Space” (2002 – 2005), a flat-screen interactive stereoscopic installation of her recent experimental work in super computing and “virtual reality” with David Pape of the Department of Media Study, University of Buffalo.1

 

Jackie Matisse grew up in Paris and New York in the ambience of Constantin Brancusi and the Surrealists, and many of the artists associated with her father, Pierre Matisse, and his important 57th Street gallery. She had the personal experience of watching her grandfather, Henri Matisse, create his series of colorful paper collages. By the late 1950s she had started her own family and was assisting her stepfather, Marcel Duchamp, in assembling his Boite-en-Valise (portable museum) while finding her unique direction as an artist in the multi-dimensional motion of kites.

             

Kites have a rich tradition as objects of ritual display in Asian cultures and a kinship to the ceremonial unfurling of heraldic banners and flags. But kites also convey a popular image that can be shared in play with family and friends and are more modestly engaging and self-effacing than what we expect when we are experiencing “art.” By 1962 Jackie Matisse had begun thinking about kites as a form that could set art in motion. While taking a cab to the airport from NYC, she saw a single kite flying over Harlem that appeared to her like  a “line drawn in the sky,” this image inspired her to draw “on the canvas of the sky” and create “Art Volant”(flying art).2  For Jackie Matisse, the emptiness of the sky marked with  the “line” of a kite became a work of art.

             

All of Jackie Matisse’s works, and her particular imagery, imply transitory movement, either literally or metaphorically. Found materials, casually appropriated imagery, light-loving translucence, and freedom of movement are intrinsic qualities of her work. Moreover, her kite-flying is a form of performance art that embraces the random effects of “chance” in the natural environment; an appreciation of “chance” is the sensibility inherent in all of her various works.

               

The aerodynamic forms of Jackie Matisse’s kite heads and tails, and the simple curved forms that often appear on the tails, are deceptively ultra-modernist when they are displayed indoors in galleries. However, Jackie Matisse has found personal sources for her modernist imagery, transpose strategies that have enabled her to escape from the shadow of the artistic giants in her family.

             

In the late 1960s, during the period of the Apollo Mission and the first man on the Moon  (which Jackie Matisse felt was “the deflowering of the Moon”), she discovered a source for images of the Moon’s shifting visage in the local market place of Nemours where a tableware vendor was breaking some of his dishes in the street to advertise his plates (“Buy them or I will break them!”). 3 The idea of breaking plates in order to get people to buy them, and the uncanny resemblance of the broken ceramic pieces lying on the street to the phases of the Moon, resulted in her use of broken dish shards as stencils for the simple shapes in her work.

             

Recycling imagery is part of the transitory character of her work.  Her long-time friend, the artist and critic Suzi Gablik, has pointed out that Jackie Matisse “is unique in the way that Ray Johnson is for his unusual correspondence art. She is an original, a ‘gutterartist’ who makes art out of gum wrappers, bottles, and bits of trash that one finds on the street, or in a terrain vague(a vacant  lot) – sometimes tying bits of this material  together or suspending them on human hair  gathered from her family and friends.” For her underwater kites she found a special fabric that had the specific gravity of water so that they would have a sense of weightlessness.  Gablik has also noted that Jackie Matisse’s working methods always invoke an air of mystery and usually involve a “secret recipe.”4        

             

Jackie Matisse has succeeded in bearing the culture of her unique family by creating art in her own visual language.

 

End notes:

  1. “Tailing A Dram”was produced under the auspices of Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France. “Kites Flying In & Out of Space”has been developed since 2002 by the Mountain Lake Workshop of the Virginia Tech Foundation; the workshop is a collaborative, community-based art project focused on the customs and the environmental and technological resources of the New River Valley and the Appalachian region.

 

2. In the early 1970s Jackie Matisse and a cohort of fellow-artists including Tal Streeter, Curt Asker and Istevan Bodoczky, signed the Art Volant Manifesto, declaring that the kite is “ a vehicle joining the spirit and the physical….the kite’s flying line connects the human hand and mind with the elements.”

 

3. Leslie Vallhonrat, Art That Soars, Kites and Tails by Jackie Matisse, exhibition catalogue edited by Martha Longenecker, (San Diego: Mingei International Museum, 2000), p. 30. Ms. Vallhonrat’s essay was originally published by the Goldie Paley Gallery, Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, PA. U.S.A. for the 1999 exhibition, Kitetail Cocktail.

 

4. Suzi Gablik in conversation with Ray Kass, April 13, 2005, Blacksburg, Virginia.

May 26 – June 24, 2005 

Opening reception

Thursday May 26th 2005

6-8pm

 

Ever the kiteflying pioneer, Jackie Matisse, of Fontainbleau Forest , France , late last year collaborated on the first high-bandwidth art piece ever created by computer. Working with the Amsterdam Science and Technology Center, Matisse contributed 12 of her very long, beautifully decorated kite tails to the project. Because wind speed was added to the equation, extensive calculations were required for these real-time kinetic art pieces (kites). Computer operations, mainly at universities, around the world each took on a single one of the dozen tails. The computers were located in Chicago, Canada , Japan , Singapore , Virginia and elsewhere.

The simulation took place in Amsterdam in a three-by-three meter room known as the cave. Three-dimensional computer-generated stereo images were projected on the walls and floor. Visitors viewed the images with special glasses, allowing them to experience date in exceptional ways.

The test was dubbed “kites flying in and out of space” because the project was actually an illusion of sorts. A viewer could put his hand right through a flying, fluttering kite.

So what did the successful demonstration mean? One answer was this: the flying kites were a visual metaphor for high speed networking performance, an important harbinger of things to come globally.

Matisse takes a longer view. “The kites evolved from my use of the sky as a canvas and because they are hard to fly in all conditions, I have experimented with alternate spaces in the past, including under the water and on video. This virtual reality networking enabled me to compose and fly many more kites than I would have been able to fly in real space.

Only granddaughter of the artist Henri Matisse and stepdaughter of Marcel Duchamp, two of the four most influential artists of the 20 th century (the others are Picasso and Pollock), Matisse came to kites as her unique, chosen art form after raising a family of four in Paris. Daughter of New York art dealer Pierre Matisse, she had been reared and educated in the U.S. “Kites have helped me maintain my independence, to express what I feel about art through making ephemeral art works in the sky. Kites are a magical, never ending story and that’s why I cling to them. Whether putting kites into the air, or under the water, or into cyber space, I’ll continue to experiment with them.”

Jackie Matisse feels Duchamp helped her find kites because of his tolerant gaze. For her and for artists all over the world, he flung open the door to unheard of materials and potential directions for art. She says she took up kites after buying a 22-foot Thai snake kite, which she unfurled in the wind and soon lost. But it was a Pandora’s box for her; the image of this long kite flying in the air and creating unpredictable movement and color captured her imagination. She has been making and flying kites ever since.

Her view is that “the sky is a vast celestial canvas, offering the artist an unexploited working space. Kites sculpt the air, they play a game of freedom- they tell a mysterious story. They allow an expression of the infinitely variable interplay of movement, light and color.”

One commentator has called her kites a form of aerial painting. It has been observed they can be viewed as site- specific choreography for the sky. Another observer nicely compares them to Tibetan prayer flags inscribed with mantras, fluttering in the wind and connecting with the moving spirits of the air, thus dispensing the mantra’s benevolent power.

“Her work is inspired, comments Scott Skinner, president of the Drachen Foundation and a student of kite making and flying world wide. “Her interest seems to be with the environment as much as with kites. She provides a different way of seeing kites. She turns a kite into a functional object in which to view the environment. Her water pieces, involving mysterious movement, dappled color, implied sound, are particularly powerful. We all like the unexpected, and she provides it.”

In the 1970s, Matisse became associated with a loose association of visual artists who happened to use kites in their art—–not kite-makers turning out art kites, a significant distinction. Others in the group included the American Tal Streeter, the Swede Curt Asker, and the Hungarian Istvan Bodczky. What the group had in common was a modernist sensibility. The emphasis was on the use of simple, sometimes unorthodox material, on unpretentiousness, accident, the transitory. The collective viewed kiting as participatory, kinetic performance art.

Over the last two decades or so, Matisse’s airborne kites led her to more domesticated works—-assemblages composed of box-like wire armatures that support strings of small floating found objects and tiny sails of painted paper or spinnaker cloth. Rescued detritus is transformed into magical, elegant table pieces. Her swimming tails led her to water-filled bottles in which suspended arrangements of small, shaped tails of various materials became miniature studies for her large-scale underwater kite art.

Matisse even figured out a way to put movement into her long kite tails while hanging them indoors. She hangs them up on rollers and powers them into movement vie small electric motors. Simple, but effective. One of these hangs in the living room of her comfortable old house in the middle of a village. Complete with its own large courtyard graced by two large chestnut trees, the house has lots of paintings and sculptures. “Family and friends,” she says of the artists represented. That their names reverberate in Western art history is just the way it happens to be.

 

Matisse’s kite making studio is elsewhere in the village. It is two stories high and nicely organized. A notable prop there is a kite reel crafted for her by the artist Jean Tinguely. Although utilitarian, it is a work of art in itself.

Amid a Henri Matisse drawing and Duchampian chess paraphernalia and two of his ready mades (the famous bottle rack and the bicycle wheel mounted atop a stool, both replicas), Jackie Matisse gathers in front of the fire with two of her sons. They discuss Duchamp, who they admired and adored. Matisse adds a small note of reality to the talk. “Yes, he was wonderful, of course but he did smoke cheap Spanish cigars. When he played chess, he was wrapped in smoke.” One of her sons adds: “We still use the boxes they came in for one thing or another. A family vignette.” Despite the cigars, he lived until he was 82.

At a time in life when some would contemplate retirement, Matisse remains busy and fulfilled. She maintains a large household, tends to her family (three sons and an daughter, grandchildren, two dogs and a cat), has a large and devoted group of friends around the world. She exhibits her own work (most recently at a one-person exhibition at the Mingei International Museum in San Diego). And, importantly, she helps represent the family in dealings with the Henri Matisse and Marcel Duchamp heritage—-meeting with curators and scholars, overseeing a journal devoted to the Duchampian legacy, attending the still frequent exhibitions of their work around the world.

The of course when she can make the time, there are always her kites to keep her absorbed in art creative work. Jackie Matisse has this final comment: “Why do I make flying art? To fly is soothing to the soul.”

“Art Flying In and Out of Space” is a virtual reality simulation of Jackie Matisse’s real-world physical kites, although we may be calling it an ‘interactive stereoscopic installation’ rather than VR in this case. The installation is what’s called a projection-based VR system, as apposed to the perhaps more familiar head-mounted display, where users wear a helmet with computer displays attached. Projection-based VR started with the CAVE system developed at the University of Illinois’ Electronic Visualization Laboratory.  One of the key elements of VR is to immerse the viewer in the virtual world (note that the meaning of ‘immersion’ is very loose and often up for debate). Head-mounted displays do this by attaching the display to the viewer’s head; projection-based systems do this by using very large screens that fill one’s field of view. A full CAVE is a 10 x 10 foot room with projections on multiple walls and the floor; due to space and budget restrictions, this gallery installation will only have a single 8 x 10 foot screen; when users stand up close, it will still (more or less) fill their field of view. The screen is rear-projected so that people can stand close without casting shadows on the computer imagery.

 

The display is stereoscopic, similar to 3D movies. The technology we use is polarized stereoscopy. Two projectors display different images, one for the left eye and one for the right eye.  The projectors have different polarizing filters, and viewers wear matching polarized glasses to see the 3D effect.

 

A six-degree-of-freedom tracking system is used in VR systems to allow the computer to know where things (such as the user’s head & hand) are, allowing direct physical interaction with the virtual world, rather than having interaction mediated by a button/menu/etc GUI. In our case, we won’t be tracking the head (which normally is used to draw the graphics from the tracked person’s viewpoint), since several people will be viewing the display simultaneously, so we will use a fixed viewpoint for the graphics.  We will use the trackers to allow 2 or 3 people to fly the kites – the ends of the virtual strings will be attached to the physical trackers, which the people can move around in 3D.

 

The sound for the piece is music by Tom Johnson. The music is dynamic – it plays in response to the motion of the kites, as manipulated by the viewers. The kites themselves involve a physics simulation known as a “mass-spring model”.  Each kite is treated as a mesh of points; the points are affected by physical forces such as wind and gravity, as well as a “spring force” that keeps the kite together as a single surface.  The earlier versions of the piece used supercomputers to perform detailed simulations of the kites, with the data being streamed back to the VR system over high-speed networks.  As

we don’t have such resources for this installation, a much simplified  version of the simulation will be running on the single Linux PC in the gallery. The motion of the simplified kites will still look very similar, just with less detail, and perhaps less realistic (although this is not likely to be apparent to most viewers).

 

The whole VR Installation consists  of 2 or 3 PCs (one with a high-end “gaming quality” graphics card), an electromagnetic tracking system, 2 projectors, polarizing  filters and glasses, a special polarizing-preserving screen, and speakers.  We assembled the system ourselves at UB from these parts; some companies sell similar systems pre-packaged, but for a lot more money.

 

 

Dave Pape

Assistant Professor

Media Study, University at Buffalo

Jackie Matisse's biography and CV

Born in France, Jackie Matisse lived in New York until 1954.  Since then she has lived in Paris making frequent visits to New York.  Between 1959 and 1968 she worked for Marcel Duchamp, completing the assemblage of the “Boite en Valise”.  At this time using her married name, Jacqueline Monnier, she began to make kites “in order to play with color and line in the sky”.  In 1980 she showed kites which were created to be used underwater at the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York, and since then has continued to make kitelike objects intended for three different kinds of space: the sky, the sea, and indoor space, all linked through her use of movement.

 In collaboration with Molly Davies, filmmaker and David Tudor, composer, she created two videos on her underwater and sky work.  In the 1980’s she collaborated with David Tudor composer and musician. She just had a comprehensive show of her work at the Mengei International Museum in San Diego, California, U.S.A.

ONE PERSON EXHIBITIONS

2005          New Art Volant, Zone Chelsea Gallery, New York, N.Y

2002          Art Flying In and Out of Space, Virginia Tech’s Perspective Gallery and      Virginia Tech Virtual Reality Cave, Blacksburg Virginia,  April-May 2002.  In collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago.Mountain Lake Workshop, April 2002 with Ray Kass, director.    

2001          First event Echigo  Triennale, August 2001, Sponsored by  Art Front Gallery, Tokyo Japan

2000          Art that Soars, Mengei International Museum, San Diego, Ca. , U.S.A.

1999          Kitetail Cocktail, Goldie Paley Gallery, Philadelphia, Pa. U.S.A.

1998          Jacqueline Matisse Monnier Kiallitasa,Bartok 32 Galéria, Budapest, Hungary

1998          The World’s Most Beautiful Automobile, Milan, Italie   , commission of ‘Wand’ a prize for Mr. Giovanni Agnelli.

1993          Magic Hair & Bottled Dreams,Galerie Satellite, Paris, France.

1988          Installation:Elle est rouge la petite fleur bleue, Musée Saint Roch, Issoudun, France.

1987          Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France

1985          Joan Mirò Foundation, Barcelona, Spain.

1984          Mobilis in Mobile, exhibition and air and underwater performance, Galeria Cadaquès, Spain.

                   Tangled Tails, performance and exhibition, Atelier Arc-en-ciel, Brest, France.

1982               Exposition à Poils, Samy Kinge Gallery, Paris, France

                   Ephemeral Gameswith performance, Galeria Cadaquès, Spain.

                   Underwater Kites and Moving Pieces, Anne Berthoud Gallery, London, England.

1981          The Traveling Exhibition, with performance, Philadelphia Museum       of Art, Philadelphia Pa. U.S.A.

1980          Works Underwater and in Space, Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, N.Y., U.S.A.

1976          Kites, a Summer Celebration, with performance, ICA, London, England.

                   Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France.

1975          Formes d’Air et de Mouvement  Musée des Sables d’Olonne, France.

  • 9 Kite Tails Alexander Iolas Gallery, Paris, France.

GROUP SHOWS

 2005         La Légèreté,Galerie Pixi, Paris, France

                   IS&T/SPIE International Symposium, Electronic Imaging 2005, January     San Jose, California, Presentation of Art Volant dans l’espaceet ailleursby Dave Pape.  No sound.

2004         Set for Cunningham Ballet Co. Joyce Theater, New York. NY

Festival International des Cerfs-Volants, Dieppe, France

 

Shaped by the Wind : Kites, The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York

 

 

2003          Art Volant dans l’espace et ailleurs, presentation of a collaborative project of kites flying in virtual reality, with interactive sound by Tom Johnson; Nicéphore Days, ENSAM, Chalon-sur-Saône, France

 

Pour le Vacuovélodrome of Alfred Jarry, Nicéphore Days, ENSAM, Chalon-

                   Sur-Saône, France, 11 Kitetails

                   60 Poux du Ciel,Nicéphore Days, Espace des Arts, Chalon-sur-Saône, France.

Wabi Sabi in the West, A.V.C. Contemporary Arts Gallery, NY, New York

2002          Le Japon Mystérieux,Galerie Satellite, Paris, France

1997          Odeurs…Une Odyssée,Passage de Retz, Paris, France.

                   From one point to another, L’Atelier Soardi, Nice, France.

                   10 Jours d’Art Contemporain, Chateau de Nemours, Nemours, France.

1996          Happy End,Galerie Satellite, Paris France.

1995          First Symposium of Art Volant, Foundation Pilar i Joan Miro, Mallorca, Spain

1994          WeathervanesMusée Matisse, Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France.

                   Singuliers de L’art  Galerie 2000, Paris, France.

1993          Drawing Sounds; An Installation in Honor of John Cage,  by William Anastasi, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pa. U.S.A.

                   Rolywholyover      A Circusby John Cage,The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The Menil Collection, Houston, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, Art Tower Mito, Japan.

                   They quoted Matisse, Galerie de France, Paris, France.

                   Qu’est-ce que j’ai fabriqué?  Qu’est-ce que je n’ai pas fabriqué?

                   Jean Dupuy, Galerie Donguy, Paris, France;

1991          Le Musée Miniature, Galerie Pixi & Cie, Paris, France.

                   Les artistes décident de jouer, Association Campredon Art & Culture,

                   L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France.

                   Zero Gravity, Art Advisory Service MOMA at City Bank, Long Island City, New York, U.S.A.

1990          Art, Culture et Foi, Galerie St. Séverin, Paris, France.

                   Art that Flies, with Curt Asker and Tal Streeter. The Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.

                   Sixième Rencontre Internationale de Cerfs Volants, Dieppe, France.

1988          Festival des Ailes et de l’Espace, with performance, Centre d’Actions Culturelles, St Médard en Jalles, Bordeaux, France.

                   Lost and Found, The Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia, Pa. U.S.A1987   

FIAC, Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris.

1986          XXXI Salon de Montrouge, Montrouge, France.

                   Inspiration comes from Nature, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, N.Y.,       U.S.A.

                   Like Kites, MOMA, New York, N.Y., U.S.A.

1985          Plein Vent, A.R.E.A., Baie de Somme,France.

                   R.O.R..  Evening for the “Revue Parlée” with C. Asker, E. Ferrer,         Y. Tono, H. Mathews.  Presentation of her seven minute video film with David Tudor “Tailing a dream” and performance. Centre Pompidou, Paris, France.

1984          Underwater, Plymouth Arts Center, Plymouth, England.

1983          Fliegende Bilder, Fliegende Plastik, with performance, Föhr, Germany.

1982          Coup de Vent dans la Prairie, Atelier d’A., with performance, Caen, France.

1981          Drachen, Landesmuseum, Bonn, Germany.

1980          Group Show, Heath Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A..

                   Christmas Show, Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, U.S.A.

                   Métiers d’Art, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France.

1979          Sculptures pour le ciel, Maison de la Culture, Rennes, France.

                   Messages pour l’espace, Centre d’actions culturelles de Sceaux, with performance, Sceaux, France.

1978          Kite Festival, Plaine de la Belle Etoile, Vincennes, France.

1977          Boites, ARC, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France.

                   Artistes-Artisans, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France.

                   Pays, Visage de Vent, La Chartreuse de Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, with performance, Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, France.

                   La Boutique Aberrante de Daniel Spoerri, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.

                   Flags, Banners and Kites, Allied Arts Foundation, Seattle Wa. U.S.A.

1976          Vos Papiers, SVP, Musée des Sables d’Olonne, France.

                   Images pour le Ciel, Festival d’automne, exhibition and audiovisuel installation, Paris, France1975           Coup de Vent, with performance, Montrouge, Franc1974   Grandes Femmes, Petits Formats, Iris Clert Gallery, Paris, France.

1975          Coup de Vent, with performance, Montrouge, France 1974.

                   Grandes Femmes, Petits Formats, Iris Clert Gallery, Paris


IN COLLABORATION WITH DAVID TUDOR

2000          Sounds & Files, Kunstlehaus ,Vienna, Exposition of David Tudor’s sound table.

1990          Volatils and Sonic Reflections, Neue Musik München Klang Aktionen 90. Munich, Germany.

                   Volatils with Sonic Reflections, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York,N.Y., U.S.A.

1988          Lines and Reflections II, Rheinischen Musikfest, Kunstacademie, Düsseldorf, Germany.

                   Lines and Reflections I, performance with David Tudor, The Kitchen, New York,N.Y., U.S.A.

1986          Sound Totem, 9 Lines, performance with David Tudor and Molly Davies, Whitney Sculpture Court, New York, N.Y., U.S.A.

1985          R.O.R. evening for the Revue Parlée with C. Asker, E.Ferrer, Y. Tono, H. Mathews, Centre Pompidou Paris, France. Accompanied by Jackie Matisse’s production of a 7 minute video film called “Tailing a Dream“. Music David Tudor, camera Andy Ferullo and Molly Davies.

1984          Sea Tails, video installation,  Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.

1984          Sea Tails,David Tudor concert, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden.

1983          Sea Tails, David Tudor concert, Music Festival, Lugano, Italy.

1983          Sea Tails, video installation, with Molly Davies, and David Tudor, Frankfort, Germany.

PUBLICATIONS

2000          Art that Soars, Kites and Tails by Jackie Matisse, Exhibition Documentary Publication, Mengei International Museum, San Diego, Ca; U.S.A.

1997               The Blue Book,by Jackie Matisse, Editions de l’Onde

1996          Cerfs-Volants L’art en Ciel, Editions Alternatives Eric et Marc Domage

1991          Art That Flies, avec Curt Asker et Tal Streeter. The Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio.

1980          Water Story,Reaktion, Verlag galerie Leaman

Related:
Heads and Tails by Jackie Matisse

JACKIE MATISSE

Heads and Tails: Hommage to Merce
September 24 - November 20, 2009
Jackie Matisse, "New Art Volant", Installation view

JACKIE MATISSE: New Art Volant

May 26 - June 24, 2005
Jackie Matisse Kites Flying in and out of space

Jackie Matisse at Virtuality Conference in Turin, Italy

with Dave Pape and Josephine Anstey
November 3 - 6, 2005
Sculpture Magazine on Jackie Matisse

SCULPTURE MAGAZINE review on Jackie Matisse

"Jackie Matisse: Collaborations in Art and Science", November 2006

Categories: exhibitions

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MANHATTAN TRANSFER: Curated by John Weber

“Manhattan Transfer is an exhibition of nineteen artists who share the process of relocation from Manhattan to the area of Columbia County in upstate New York. The reasons for this relocation are varied, but generally include economic betterment and insecurity about living and working situations. Many of the contributing artists fell victim to landlords who used commercial leases which had no protection against price gouging. Manhattan had for decades been the mecca of the international art world and, as such, drew thousands of artists to its doors. With the exception of the A.I.R ( Artist In Residence program), nothing official was done by city and state governments to protect and encourage this great cultural asset and heritage. Consequently, artists began to leave the city, seeking someplace within which to function effectively and cheaply. Many came to the Mid-Hudson Valley of Columbia, Dutchess and Green Counties, specifically to the 18th-century city of Hudson and its immediate environs.


In the spring of 2004 I curated the first version of Manhattan Transfer in a small commercial artgallery in Chatham, NY. The intent of this earlier exhibition was simply a means of gathering this body of talent together to demonstrate the professional vocabulary of the newly arrived creative individuals in the area. In this revised version, using many different artists, it is hoped that this show will become a beacon depicting our locale where art can not only survive but flourish.


A big thanks to Jennifer Baahng of Zone Chelsea Center for the Arts.”

                                         

J.W.W.

April 20 – June 17, 2006

 

Opening reception:

Thursday April 20th, 2006

6-8pm

 

Artists in exhibition:

Richard Artschwager

Jane Laudi

Jason Middlebrook

Christopher Haun

Ellsworth Kelly

Jack Shear

Kate Butler

Michael Tong

Rainer Judd

Dan Devine

Mona Mark

Christopher Pérez

Maïa Müller

Maximilian Goldfarb

Allyson Strafella

George Quasha

Nicholas Kahn & Richard Selesnick

Elizabeth Hall

Michael Auder

Categories: exhibitions

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RICHARD MAYHEW: Monument

The landscape genre encompasses a range of approaches along the continuum from representation to abstraction.  For over half a century, Richard Mayhew has been actively exploring that terrain in his vibrant studies of light and color.  I am proud to welcome Mayhew as a gallery artist at ZONE: CONTEMPORARY ART. “Monuments” is a rare solo exhibition, curated to present highlights from the full career of one of our greatest living painters.  In the course of preparing “Monuments,” I was struck by how this thoroughly contemporary artist rethinks the long tradition of transfigured topography, a tradition that includes the Romanticism of J.M.W. Turner, the optical experiments of Claude Monet and the non-figurative modernism of Mark Rothko.

 

Born in New York, in 1924, Mayhew is descended from both African American and Native American stock.  The interplay of water, land and sky around his Long Island home instilled a life-long passion for luminosity.  His biography encapsulates the exciting course of mid-twentieth-century American art: he studied under Max Beckman, Edwin Dickman and Ruben Tam, and he knew Jackson Pollock, William de Kooning, and Franz Klein.  In 1963, he became a co-founder, along with Romare Bearden and Norman Lewis, of the Spiral Group, an association of black artists.  He has influenced a new generation through teaching stints at the Brooklyn Museum Art School, the Art Students League, and Pennsylvania State University.  In 1991, Mayhew moved to Soquel, California.  The ZONE exhibition is a prelude to an upcoming celebration of Mayhew’s career, each focusing on a different period, at three California museums: the de Saisset Museum, the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), and the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz.

 

The exhibition reveals an artist with a unique perspective on two of the great movements in American art history: the pantheistic Hudson River School and the Abstract Expressionists, with their shamanistic paint-handling.  Mayhew’s ecstatic color fields are grounded in recognizable elements, such as the statuesque trees that are a recurring motif in “Monuments,” resonant with the emblematic power of the druidic World Tree. A master of atmospheric perspective, he deftly balances a vestigial sense of spatial recession with a dynamic engagement with the two-dimensional surface, layering paint for incandescent effects.  Throughout a long and still-vital career, Mayhew has stayed true to the painter’s mission, using color and form to tap into primordial creation.  A jazz musician, as well as a long-term professor in the visual arts, he grasps the underlying importance of formal rhythm and harmony.  His improvisations on color run the gamut from tonalist to psychedelic, but always illuminate the profound connections between nature and art.

 

Richard Mayhew has received numerous awards and honors from many national institutions and foundations, including the National Academy of Design, the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and Pennsylvania State University.  His selected permanent collections include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the National Museum of American Art, the Newark Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

 

Jennifer Baahng

Director

June 18 – August 15, 2009

 

Opening reception:

Thursday June 18th, 2009

6-8pm

 

 

American Arts Quarterly

Review by American Arts Quarterly, Summer 2009

“The de Saisset Museum, University of Santa Clara will present The Art of Richard Mayhew: Journey’s End, September 26 to December 4, 2009.  The exhibition is part of a three museum retrospective that will examine the forty year career of Richard Mayhew, one of America’s greatest living landscape painters.  The exhibition at the de Saisset will focus on Mayhew’s work from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s.  During this period, Mayhew would travel by car across the country, gathering ideas for his abstract landscapes.

 

These cross country sojourns (sometimes driving through the Southwest, other times taking a northern route into Canada) would result in a profound change in his painting style. No longer abstract, now his work centered on specific landmarks; trees, hills, lakes rendered in a more realistic motif.  This is not to imply that the artist was working en plein aire; Mayhew never used sketches or photographs.  Rather, he would rely on his memory to create a landscape that would be an amalgam of actual sites he had visited.  And, as always, Mayhew strove to paint the “essence of nature, always seeking the unique spiritual mood of the land.”  

 

The results are composite impressions, utilizing Mayhew’s signature vibrant colors, that have a universal appeal.  Perhaps it is because, as Mayhew explains, “I want the essence of the inner soul to be on the canvas.”  A critic for ArtNews commented on Mayhew’s “controlled mastery of the brush while depicting these imagined places.” For Richard Mayhew, these “imagined places” are an endless source of inspiration; for those of us who view his work, an endless source of pleasure.”

 

Sheryl Nonnenberg

Guest Curator

The de Saisset Museum

University of Santa Clara

“In this three-museum celebratory retrospective exhibition, The Art of Richard Mayhew, the Museum of Art & History will highlight the years from 2000 to 2009.  Our exhibition, The Art of Richard Mayhew: After the Rain, focuses on lush landscapes replenished and refreshed by gentle storms.

 

The artist has no need or inclination to record what he sees in a photographically inspired style. Rather, he relies upon improvisational brushwork, momentary intuition and spontaneous judgment to produce work whose saturated color applied with broken brushwork evoke the smell of after-the-rain air.

 

Nature, a constant source of awe and delight for Mayhew, is honored in paintings that reclaim memories of landscapes visited from his early childhood to present.  We see Richard Mayhew as a Transcendentalist in the welcome rain; he is a Walt Whitman reminding us Happiness not in another place, but this place, not for another hour, but this hour.  He is a Shinnecock, Cherokee Indian and African American whose spirituality is manifest in his life’s work.  But, most of all, he is thoroughly Richard Mayhew, an artist who shares his visual, emotional, and mental connections to the land.  His reflective paintings are tangible translations of a shimmering act of love.”

 

Susan Hillhouse

Curator of Exhibitions and Collections

The Museum of Art & History at the McPherson Center

Santa Cruz, CA

“The exhibition of Mayhew’s work at MoAD will be the first part of a three-part chronological retrospective of the artist’s career.  This exhibition will present an overview of paintings and works on paper beginning with the late 1950s through Mayhew’s recent compositions.  The selections for this five-decade retrospective show the depth of Mayhew’s vision that combines his unique style, philosophy for painting, and synthesis of artistic and social influences which span the trajectory of his full artistic career.

 

Mayhew made his first solo exhibition debut in 1957 at New York’s renowned Morris Gallery.  His unique style of presenting the natural milieu was well received by critics who noted “the abstract romanticism of feeling of his thoughtful work, suggesting, if anything, the woods beyond the world or some such concept.”  The captivating quality of his work, so remarkable in his early New York reviews, remains relevant in the vivid canvases of his contemporary work.

 

Mayhew infuses his abstract Barbizon-style paintings with bright, often psychedelic, colors creating a mysterious world of monumental trees in open meadows, dense bushes, and narrow creeks cradled in saturated colored skies.  He masterfully follows and breaks the rules of color theory to entice viewers into moody fantasy environments.  His signature fiery vistas and cool misty field evoke an emotional engagement from his viewers that has kept him at the forefront of landscape painting for over forty years.”

 

Bridget R. Cooks, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

University of California, Irvine

Department of Art History

African American Studies

Visual Studies Curator

EDUCATION

Academia; Florence, Italy

Art Students League, New York, NY

Brooklyn Museum Art School; Brooklyn, NY

Columbia University; New York, NY

Studied with Max Beckman, Edwin Dickenson, Hans Hoffman, and Ruben Tam

 

POSITIONS

Professor Emeritus, Pennsylvania State University, PA

Academician, National Academy of Design, New York, NY

Former Advisory Board Member, Rockland Center for the Arts, Rockland, NY

Former Council Member, National Academy of Design, New York, NY

Founding Director, Creative Center for the Arts and Sciences, CA

Former Member, Macdowell Colony Corporation, Peterborough, NH

 

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA

Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY

Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY

Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, MN

Museum of African Art, Washington DC

National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC

Newark Museum, Newark, NJ

National Academy of Design, New York, NY

Transamerica Corporation, San Francisco, CA

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

 

AWARDS AND HONORS

Received numerous awards and honors from many National Institutions and Foundations, including the National Academy of Design, the National Institute of Arts and Letters and Pennsylvania State University.

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2009    de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University, CA

Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, CA

Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA

ZONE: CONTEMPORARY ART  New York, NY

Avram Gallery, Stony Brook Southampton, SUNY, NY

Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia

 

 

2008    Avram Gallery, Stony Brook Southampton, SUNY, NY

Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia

G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Chicago, IL

2007    G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Chicago, IL

Sherry Washington Gallery, Detroit, MI

ACA Gallery, New York, NY

2006    Stella Jones Gallery, New Orleans, LA

G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Chicago, IL

2005    ACA Gallery, New York, NY

G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Chicago, IL

2003    Washington Gallery, Detroit, MI

Stella Jones Gallery, New Orleans, LA

G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Chicago, IL

2002    G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Chicago, IL

Bomani Gallery, San Francisco, CA

ACA Gallery, New York, NY

2001    Stella Jones Gallery, New Orleans, LA

1999    Sherry Washington Gallery, Detroit, MI

Stella Jones Gallery, New Orleans, LA

1998    ACA Gallery, New York, NY

1997    G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Chicago, IL

Stella Jones Gallery, New Orleans, LA

Bomani Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1995    Bomani Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1994    Bomani Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Alitash Kebede Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Sherry Washington Gallery, Detroit, MI

1993    Bomani Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Alitash Kebede Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA

1991    Sherry Washington Gallery, Detroit, MI

1989    Sherry Washington Gallery, Detroit, MI

Isobel Neal Gallery, Chicago, IL

1987    Midtown Galleries, New York, NY

University of Maryland, Princess Anne, MD

1986    Grand Central Galleries, New York, NY

Hampton University, Hampton, VA

1985    Young Gallery, San Jose, CA

1984    Kingsborough College, Kingsborough, NY

1983    Young Gallery, San Jose, CA

The Pennsylvania State University Art Museum, University Park, PA

1982    Midtown Galleries, New York, NY

1981    St. Mary’s College, MD

Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD

 

 

1980    San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA

 

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

National Academy Museum New York NY (2009)

Parish Gallery, Washington DC

Midtown Payson Gallery

Wilmer Jennings Gallery, New York, NY

Midtown Payson Gallery

Wilmer Jennings Gallery, New York, NY

Gallery 30, Burlingame, CA

Midtown Payson Gallery

Midtown Payson Gallery

Albright-Knox Members Gallery

“Rediscovering America: The Persistent Landscape,” Wilson Art Center, Rochester, NY

National Academy of Design, New York, NY

Hobe Sound Galleries, Hobe Sound, FL

Bergen Museum of Art And Science, Paramus, NJ

Bucknell University, Center Gallery, Lewisberg, PA

“Black American Artists.” Fine Art Museum of Long Island, Hempstead, NY

Fine Arts Museum

Kenkelebra Gallery, New York, NY

The Equitable Gallery, New York, NY

Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD

St. Mary’s College of Maryland, MD

National Academy of Design, New York, NY

San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA

Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY

National Academy of Design, New York, NY

National Academy of Design, New York, NY

Kalamazoo Art Institute, Kalamazoo, MI

Montclair State College, Montclair, NJ

Art Lease and Sales Gallery, NJ State Museum, Trenton, NJ

Collector’s Gallery, Columbus Gallery of Fine Art, Columbus, OH

Audubon Artists Annual, New York, NY

Butler Institute of American Art

New York Cultural Center, New York, NY

Squibb Gallery, Princeton, NJ

YM-YMHA, Union, NJ

Temple Emith, Teaneck, NJ

Storefront Museum, Jamaica, NJ

Lobby Gallery, Chicago, IL

Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, MN

Weatherspoon Gallery, Greensburo, NC

Lobby Gallery, Chicago, IL

 

 

Spellman College, Atlanta, GA

Oklahoma Museum of Art at Red Ridge, Oklahoma City, OK

Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial, New York, NY

Great Hall, City College, New York, NY

American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY

Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR

Art in Embassies Program, US Embassy, Rangoon, Burma

Art Gallery, SUNY, Albany, NY

Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY

Butler Institute, Youngstown, OH

Carlton College, Northfield MN

Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA

Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL

Civic Fine Arts Center, Sioux Falls, SD

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado Springs, CO

Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX

Crysler Museum, VA

Daning Gallery, New York, NY

Edmonton Gallery, Edmonton, Canada

Equitable Life Insurance Gallery, NY

Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY

Flint Institute of Art, Flint, MI

Florissant Valley College, St. Louis, MO

Freedman Gallery, Albright College, Reading, PA

Gallery of Modern Art, New York, NY

Grand Central Galleries, New York, NY

Greenville Co. Museum, Greenville, SC

High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA

Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, IL

Kresge Art Center, E. Lansing, MI

Mankato State College, Mankato, MN

Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY

Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Canada

Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN

Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, RI

Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences, Norfolk, VA

Paul Sargent Gallery, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, IL

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Pennsylvania State University, PA

Queens Museum, Queens, NY

San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA

State University of New York, Westbury, NY

The Young Gallery, San Jose, CA

Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, MN

 

 

UCLA Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

University of Illinois Biennial, IL

University of Maryland, MD

 

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JACKIE MATISSE

Heads and Tails: Hommage to Merce

I am proud to present Jackie Matisse’s Heads and Tails: Hommage to Merce, her second solo show at ZONE: CONTEMPORARY ART. The exhibition encompasses a wide range of her art–her signature kites, assemblages, memory bottles, and works on paper–and features a unique re-imagining of her theater design for the late choreographer Merce Cunningham. Jackie Matisse’s work is an exploration of movement. Her hand-painted, kinetic mobiles may be anchored to “points in space,” to borrow a phrase from Merce, but they defy gravity, flying on ambient currents of air. The principle of fluidity, of metamorphosis, is a touchstone of a particular strain of modernism. Merce’s collaborators– John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol, among others-retained creative autonomy: music, visual elements, and choreography came together only with their first performance. The improvisational process continued when the different work were recombined in Events and Happenings.

 

In honor of this intuitive and open-ended ethos, Jackie Matisse has reinstalled her décor for Merce (Events, Joyce Theater, 2004) in the main gallery. Usually, Jackie exhibits the eccentrically shaped, sometimes sculptural heads and banner-like tails of her kites separately. ZONE is offering a rare opportunity to see the richly colored 26-feet-high kites, as the mysterious, totemic figures whose fluttering movements interacted with the human performers. Gallery visitors can use artist-painted fans to stir up the air currents and bring the tableau to life. They will experience the art in a new way: not as a stage picture from the audience’s perspective, but moving through the floating heads and tails, like dancers. The ZONE installation becomes an Event, in which the décor from a repertory piece is adapted to a particular space and occasion. Jackie also flies her kites in a form of performance art that celebrates the chance operations of nature, using what she calls “the canvas of the sky” to create “Art Volant” (flying art). Jackie recalls “listening to and watching Merce trying out new ideas and rhythms” and experiencing his performances as a dancer: “like an explosion of legs, arms, chest, head, flying over the stage, advancing then retreating.” This rhythm, the tension of coil and release, governs the dynamism of dancers and kite-flyers.

 

Capturing the ephemeral is part of an important modernist tradition, a tradition that Jackie Matisse knows intimately. Growing up in Paris and New York among artists, she assisted her stepfather, Marcel Duchamp, in assembling his portable museum, the Boite-en-Valise, and has worked with artists from many disciplines throughout her career. Jean Tinguely was another mentor, and the influence of Tinguely’s motorized contraptions can be seen in Jackie’s low-tech clockworks to mechanically operate her kites in the indoor spaces. Continuing the magpie-collecting habits of the Surrealists, the Fluxus artists and John Cage, she finds unexpected resonance in objets trouvés. She uses broken ceramic shards as both stencils for flat shapes and assemblage pieces. The most haunting of these works are her memory bottles, temporal reliquaries in which she suspends tiny, personally significant objects and fragments, literally capturing time in a bottle.  Often, she uses single strands of hair from friends and family to string these fetishes, which have the evocative power of Voodoo spirit flasks. Like kite strings, such threads simultaneously tether us to the earth, the past and our physical beings while allowing our imaginations to soar.

 

Jennifer Baahng

September 24 – November 20, 2009

 

 

Opening reception:

Thursday September 24th, 2009

6-8pm

 

The elegiac freedom and sweep of Jackie Matisse’s work is about movement and a floating lightness, which is particularly poignant as a tribute to the life of Merce Cunningham. 

 

Evanescent as dance, using the most ephemeral materials, Jackie Matisse has reversed the artist’s painterly color exploration by breaking down the prismatic color field, to send her canvas aloft into the sky to be viewed against light. Using the kite as her medium, her work takes its place within the binary poles of folk craft and the mythic and soars into the experimental.

 

“Heads and Tails” refers to the two parts of the kite. If the head, the kite itself, functions as a canvas and color field, it is the focus of her manipulation of sunlight in all its transformative possibilities: from transparency and shading to total occlusion. On the other hand, the tails of the kites, serving both as rudders and anchors, in Jackie Matisse’s hands are transformed into complex mobiles.  In “Vacuovelodrome d’Alfred Jarry” (2003), four tails of white sailcloth with shadows and moons come together in a pas de deux and form an exacting and surprising dance. Whereas the grey fiber kites “Poux du Ciel” (2004), made in multiples for Merce’s performance, evoke a different type of movement, with bicycle tire prints running over and through the painted surfaces and giving a visual clue to speed and distance covered.         Wind driven, the kite’s flying line connects the human hand with the elements; her work joins the physical and spiritual. In the Middle East and Asia, the kite takes the form of both real and mythic creatures—insects, birds, fish, reptiles, as well as dragons and angels—linking them to the forces of the elements with all their cosmic implications.

 

Jackie Matisse, like the Conceptualists and Flexus artists, turned away from making art as a commercial commodity. In 1970 she became associated with an international group of visual artists who used kites and related airborne objects in their work and later proclaimed the Art Volant Manifesto emphasizing the use of simple unorthodox material with works that were immediate, accidental and transitory. They viewed kiting as participatory, kinetic performance art.  As seen in “9 jours de trottoirs” (1980), the collection of haphazard detritus taken from the sidewalk over nine days is transformed by the artist into the materials of tails and exhibited along with two collage boxes. These works are in contrast to the time element implied by her “New York bottles” (1999-2005), which use found objects representing a person, place, or event and are tied by a single hair, immersed in liquid, and sealed.  In these works her economical use of the humblest materials—feathers, newspaper, string, and orange peels—come together to somehow form an almost alchemical kind of visual poetry.

 

She constantly pushed her work into other elements, as when she submerged her kites. This work is the subject of the 1984 video “Sea Tails” and the 1985 video “Tailing a Dream” by Molly Davies, with a score by David Tudor, in which the underwater motion of kites made of sailcloth alternates with their airborne counterparts. But perhaps one of Jackie Matisse’s most extraordinary experiments was exploring the physical properties of flying kites in virtual reality, with audience participation. In collaboration with David Pape, Jackie Matisse created “Kites Flying In and Out of Space” (2005), a flat screen, interactive, stereoscopic installation that pushed her work into supercomputing and virtual reality.        Among all its aesthetic properties, the kite in perpetual random motion is always an object of chance, which particularly interested Jackie Matisse and its connection to the work of John Cage and Merce Cunningham. Chance, a subject of preoccupation ever since the poet Mallarmé’s illuminating: “A throw of the dice will not abolish Fate.” In memory of Merce she presents a group of painted mobiles in shades of grey, midnight blue, brown, and dark burgundy; three mobiles of illuminated blue broken moons offer a celebration of his life.

 

Her affinity with and curiosity about the intervention of chance and randomness is a bond she shared with Merce Cunningham, so eloquently presented in this exhibition. Jackie Matisse has not only inherited a master’s sense of color and form, but also the ability to transform her material and ideas into a completely personal world view. A world supported by wind and light, and informed with the illumination of poetry.

 

Charles Ruas, 2009

 

Related:
Heads and Tails by Jackie Matisse

JACKIE MATISSE

Heads and Tails: Hommage to Merce
September 24 - November 20, 2009
Jackie Matisse, "New Art Volant", Installation view

JACKIE MATISSE: New Art Volant

May 26 - June 24, 2005
Jackie Matisse Kites Flying in and out of space

Jackie Matisse at Virtuality Conference in Turin, Italy

with Dave Pape and Josephine Anstey
November 3 - 6, 2005
Sculpture Magazine on Jackie Matisse

SCULPTURE MAGAZINE review on Jackie Matisse

"Jackie Matisse: Collaborations in Art and Science", November 2006

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SHELTER SERRA: House On Fire

Baahng Gallery is pleased to announce the representation of artist Shelter Serra.  The inaugural solo exhibition at the gallery HOUSE ON FIRE is on view from October 27 through December 27, 2016.  The Artist Reception will be held on Tuesday, 6-8 pm, November 15, 2016.  

 

HOUSE ON FIRE showcases a series of new paintings and small survey of sculptures that represent a cross-section of contemporary American life: high fashion, luxury items, media and press, territory issues, surveillance, nostalgic classic Americana.  After the financial collapse of 2008, the version of the American Dream that we have come to know is now a relic.  In the headline painting of this exhibition, the fire that is overtaking the house is marking the end of the old as well as clearing the way for a new beginning.  Although the opportunity to start anew is comforting, the viewer is also forced to reflect on where the cultural aspirations of the American Dream should now lay.  Shelter Serra’s works exhibited in this show invite viewers to give the meaning of the American Dream a much-needed update.

 

Born in 1972 in Bolinas, California, Shelter Serra completed a BA in Studio Art from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an MFA in Painting & Printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design.  His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at galleries and museums including Mead Carney Gallery, Marlborough Gallery, Perry Rubenstein Gallery, Renwick Gallery, Bolinas Museum, and Maryland Institute of Art.  He currently works and lives in New York.

October 27 – December 27, 2016

 

 

Opening reception:

Tuesday November 15th, 2016

6-8pm

 

 

 

Related:
House on Fire by Shelter Serra, installation view

SHELTER SERRA: House On Fire

October 27 - December 27, 2016
Shelter Serra, House on Fire

“SHELTER SERRA SETS THE HOUSE ON FIRE”, by Ashley W. Simpson

"THE ARTIST’S FIRST SOLO SHOW DISSECTS THE AMERICAN DREAM", FASHION UNFILTERED
November 15, 2016

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NOBUO SEKINE AND ZHANG HONGTU: TWO ROCKS

Baahng Gallery is pleased to present TWO ROCKS, an exhibition for artists Nobuo Sekine and Zhang Hongtu.  The exhibition will showcase a selection of their paintings, sculptures, and multi-media installations, from the 1980’s and 1990’s.  The exhibition will run from September 20th through October 21, 2017.

 

TWO ROCKS showcases the work of modern sages, Nobuo Sekine and Zhang Hongtu, from the 1980’s and 1990’s, pivotal years in their contributions to art.  Sekine is a key founder of Mono-ha, a group of artists that gained prominence in Tokyo in the late 1960’s for their rejection of the traditional ideas of representation.  Primarily known as a sculptor, Sekine incorporates natural and industrial materials in his work, and his work explores the properties and interdependency of these materials with their surrounding space.  In the late 1980’s, he returned to his original training as a painter, and began creating Phase Conception – a series of “paintings” of phases.  The phases are made out of thick Japanese handmade paper, cut out, torn, pasted back onto the remaining surface and coated with either gold leaf or black lead.  They are based on a topological geometry concept as applied to space, which is that the continuous transformation of form does not affect the sum total of the form’s mass.  Concurrently, in the late 1980’s, Zhang, a forerunner of Political Pop Art, immigrated to New York where he would discover Pop Art against the geo-political backdrop of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre.  Zhang is known for using various painting styles and media to produce artistic critiques of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, including through his appropriating images of Mao Zedong.  His newer works have branched into environmental concerns, and include his classical Chinese landscape paintings, which, traditionally painted in black-and-white, are added with sensuous, toxic colors. 

 

Born in 1942 in Saitama prefecture, Japan, Nobuo Sekine has been recognized for his artistic breakthroughs, including at the 1968 Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition in Kobe for his work: Phase – Mother Earth, and at the 1970 Venice Biennial for his work: Phase of Nothingness.  His works have been exhibited internationally, including at Guggenheim Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Haus der Kunst in Germany, and Museum of Modern Art in New York.  TWO ROCKS will feature Sekine’s Phase Conception paintings, including Flower, Spring Sea, and From Inside a Semicircle.

 

Born in 1943 in Pingliang, China, Zhang Hongtu is the recipient of awards, including from the Pollock Krasner Foundation in 1991 and the National Endowment for Arts in 1995.  His works have been exhibited internationally, including at Bronx Museum, Kaohsiung Museum in Taiwan, Museu Picasso in Spain, Queens Museum, The Deichtorhallen in Germany, Israel Museum, and Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Guggenheim Museum in New York will showcase Zhang Hongtu’s Vitrine, 1986-1995 in the upcoming exhibition “Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World.”   TWO ROCKS will feature paintings, sculptures, and multi-media installations by Zhang, including Self-Portrait in the Style of the Old Masters, The Red Door, and Re-Make of Ma Yuan’s Water Album (780 Years Later).

September 20 – October 21, 2017

 

Opening reception:

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

6-8pm

 

Artists in the exhibition

Nobuo Sekine

Zhang Hongtu

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R.C. BAKER: Noise For Signal

Progressives everywhere were shattered: How was it possible that a demagogic, thin-skinned, petty — and c’mon, the man is a congenital liar! — how was it possible that this charlatan had been elected president of the United States of America?

 

Welcome to 1968. Richard M. Nixon won the White House by less than 1 percent of the popular vote. During a 1971 discussion with National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, Nixon griped that the members of his cabinet, including a young Donald Rumsfeld, “don’t know what the hell they’re talking about!” This observation, along with other salty insights from Oval Office recordings of our most Shakespearean president, provides the dialogue for R.C. Baker’s 9-and-half minute animation, “President: ‘Why?’ ” 

 

The animation was created from approximately 3,600 “degeneration prints,” a selection of which will be on view in a mural-scale installation, along with posters and assemblages. The source materials for the degeneration prints are thumbnail reproductions of head-shop posters advertised in early-1970s comic books, distorted by cheap printing techniques. Baker’s process, which he terms “painting by other means,” pushes these flaws over the border between recognizable imagery and abstraction, revealing the towering ideals of the ’60s as battered and degraded, yet still beautiful.

 

R.C. Baker is an artist and writer who lives and works in New York City. He is a New York Foundation for the Arts Painting Fellow whose work has been exhibited at Baahng Gallery, Zone: Contemporary Art, the Drawing Center, White Columns, the Center for Book Arts, and other venues in New York City, as well as internationally. Baker is a senior editor at the Village Voice and a visiting artist at NYU Steinhardt School of Painting. In 2016 he was awarded a Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for Short-Form Writing.

A solo exhibition by R.C. Baker

May 24 – June 30, 2018

 

 

Opening reception

6-8PM, Thursday, May 24, 2018

 

 

Artist’s Talk

6PM, June 16, 2018

Related:
RC Baker: Noise for Signal

R.C. BAKER: Noise For Signal

May 24 - June 30, 2018
Artist Talk with RC Baker

Artist Talk with RC Baker

Baker's talk ranging from Old masters to comic books, political echo chambers and the joys of dissolving 60s protest posters into psychedelic abstractions
June 16, 2018
RC Baker, "...and Nixon's coming | the Draft

RC Baker “…and Nixon’s coming” | the draft

Artist Talk and Reading
April 18, 2009

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