Posts Tagged ‘MASS Moca’

Photography at MASS MoCA as Sculpture and Architecture [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Liz Deschenes:Gallery 7, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2014 (Installation view) Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York. (photo: Gene Pittman)

Liz Deschenes: Gallery 7, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2014 (Installation view) Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York (photo: Gene Pittman)



MASS MoCA’s Year of Photography Opens Saturday (May 23)

Opening receptions for three new exhibitions

North Adams, MA — On Saturday (May 23), MASS MoCA opens three exhibitions that destroy all our preconceptions about photography: “Clifford Ross: Landscape Seen & Imagined,” “Liz Deschenes: Gallery 4.1.1″ and “Artists’ Choice: An Expanded Field of Photography.” The eight artists take an exceptionally acrobatic approach to the medium, from Ross’ Harmoniums and large-scale high-resolution images to Deschenes’ panoptic photograms, to photographs that encroach on sculpture and architecture. An opening reception is held on Saturday from 5-6:30pm, in the galleries.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage

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For Cameron Esposito, the “L-Word” is “Laugh” – at MASS MoCA on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, May 4th, 2015
Comic Cameron Esposito will surprise you in more ways than one

Comic Cameron Esposito will surprise you in more ways than one.

In the world of great comics there is hardly a funnier or more riveting performer out there, and so Cameron Esposito is our top pick of the month.

On-the-rise LA-based comic, Esposito – who haunts late-night TV, hosts two hilarious podcasts, and authors a column for The Onion’s AV Club – has “a stylish presence” and “a gift for plugging punchlines into personal stories” (New York Times). Come to MASS MoCA in North Adams at 8pm on Saturday (May 9) and find out why Jay Leno called her “the future of comedy.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Jim Shaw: “Entertaining Doubts” @ MASS MoCA [Get Visual]

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
Jim Shaw - The Rinse Cycle 2012 acrylic on muslin

Jim Shaw – The Rinse Cycle 2012 acrylic on muslin

Review by David Brickman

Have you ever tried to describe a crazy dream you had, or tried to follow someone describing such a dream? Then you will have some idea what it’s like to experience the large exhibition “Entertaining Doubts” by California artist Jim Shaw at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams. Shaw draws a great deal from his dreams and attempts to manifest them physically through sculpture, painting and installation.

Alas, it is not an entirely successful effort, just as none of us has ever really adequately articulated our own dream or understood another’s, but a lot of compelling and enjoyable art is created along the way, so it’s also not a failure. Shaw has great skills in drawing and painting, and a good understanding of the theatrics that go into effective installations, and MASS MoCA gives him plenty of space to spread out in.

A signature of the show is Shaw’s re-use of discarded painted theatrical backdrops. The worn texture of these huge curtains of muslin, and their time-softened colors, are very appealing, and Shaw makes the most of this appeal by limiting his interventions to partial overpainting or, in some cases, simple reinterpretation by the placement of flat figures in front. Shaw also takes smaller cuts of the backdrops and paints on them like stretched canvases. These are some of the best works in the show, perhaps because it is easier to digest them, or because smaller works can concentrate the idea better. (Mind you, in this context, small is relative: say, six feet rather than forty.)

Click to read the rest at Get Visual.

Bang On a Can’s Julia Wolfe Wins Pulitzer Prize

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Congrats go out to Bang On a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe, who has been awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished musical composition.

The award – which comes with a prize of $10,000 in addition to the oodles of prestige – was awarded to Wolfe for her oratorio for chorus and sextet, “Anthracite Fields,” evoking Pennsylvania coal-mining life around the turn of the 20th century. The work had its world premiere on April 26, 2014, in Philadelphia, performed by the Bang on a Can All-Stars with the Mendelssohn Club Chorus of Philadelphia.

The Bang On a Can Summer Festival is returning to MASS MoCA in North Adams again this summer, and it will include a performance of another Wolfe composition, “Singing in the Dead of Night,” during the festival-closing, six-hour Bang On a Can Marathon, which will also features works by Philip Glass, Christian Marclay, Meredith Monk and others.

DANCE: Larry Keigwin’s Wit, Musicality and Raw Emotions on Stage April 11-12 @ MASS MoCA [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, April 6th, 2015
Ashley Browne and Matt Baker of Keigwin + Company (photo by Matthew Murphy)

Ashley Browne and Matt Baker of Keigwin + Company (photo by Matthew Murphy)

By Larry Murray

Cultural partners Jacob’s Pillow Dance and MASS MoCA present Keigwin + Company, at 8pm Satuday and 3pm on Sunday (April 11 & 12) at MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center. A favorite among dance audiences and critics, Keigwin + Company will bring a mixed program of high art and pure entertainment featuring a variety of diverse contemporary works that embody the company’s signature wit, broad musicality and profound emotional capacity. Annual co-presentations by Jacob’s Pillow and MASS MoCA are made possible by the Irene Hunter Fund for Dance.

Ella Baff of Jacob’s Pillow talks about Larry Keigwin and the partnership with MASS MoCA:

The job of an Artistic Director is to curate performances many other activities, and through that, create an exciting environment for artists and the public. I search far and wide for talent to bring a great variety of dance styles and traditions from all over the world. I travel, read, listen, look, network, attend performances, rehearsals, meet with artists, managers and agents. I cast a wide net and shape a Festival out of it from possibilities. I spend hundreds of hours seeing performances, rehearsals and watching videos.” – Ella Baff

We had a lively email exchange with Ella Baff, and quotes from that correspondence are in the pull-out quotes we have scattered in this preview.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Sexmob Adds Unusual Jazz Twist to 1925 Silent Film “Maciste in Hell” [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
Sex Mob brings jazz and special effects to a classic silent film at Mass MoCA’s Club B-10  on April 4

Sexmob brings jazz and special effects to a classic silent film at MASS MoCA’s Club B-10

At MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday night (April 4), the propulsive quartet Sexmob, which combines mind-blowing jazz chops with a highly developed sense of wit and mischief, performs its brand-new original score to Maciste in Hell, the seminal work of the Italian silent era. The great Bartolomeo Pagano stars as Maciste, a Herculean strongman whose physical prowess and matching virtue are tested when the Devil and his minions capture him and drag him to hell. Fellini cites the film as one that inspired him to lead a life in cinema.

Originally formed as a vehicle for Steven Bernstein (most notable for his work as the trumpeter for Levon Helm from 2004 to 2012) and his slide trumpet, Sexmob quickly evolved to serve a much nobler purpose. Immediately after Bernstein assembled his band (Steven Bernstein, slide trumpet; Briggan Krauss, alto sax; Tony Scherr, bass; Kenny Wollesen, drums), they began a residency at the Knitting Factory in Manhattan, largely playing Bernstein’s original songs. During a special evening of film music, however, the audience went crazy for the James Bond theme. Bernstein and his band realized that audiences engage more with music they recognize, and Sexmob’s legacy would be forever changed.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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A True Original, Carl Hancock Rux Returns to MASS MoCA on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, March 27th, 2015

One of the most magnetic and engaging performers ever to grace a stage at MASS MoCA, Carl Hancock Rux returns on Saturday night (March 28) for an intimate set of songs and poetry set to live piano music that ranges from the blues to German lieder to Lili Boulanger. The New York Times says, “Carl Hancock Rux is full of promise and virtuosity… a gifted poet who offers up vibrant imagery like a street corner preacher in the midst of a nervous breakdown.”

An American poet, novelist, singer-songwriter, essayist and Bessie Award and OBIE Award-winning artist, Rux’s poetry deals with issues of race, religion, politics, sexuality, isolation and personal relationships, while making use of satire, naturalism and rhetoric to convey the observations embedded within his poetry. Rux delivers his poetry with an unparalleled lyrical intimacy: his voice, both literally and in terms of his writing, is undeniably his own.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: Kat Edmonson @ MASS MoCA, 3/14/15

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Kat1

Review by J Hunter

It was one of those cases where “You had to be there” – and I wasn’t: No less than three people I eminently respect still speak in glowing terms about vocalist Kat Edmonson’s last-minute appearance on the small stage at the 2009 Tanglewood Jazz Festival. It was around that time that I received the Texas native’s debut disc Take to the Sky and fell flat in love with her knock-out reboots the Great American Songbook. So when MASS MoCA announced Edmonson would be part of their spring season, there was no way I was going to miss out this time! Six years is a long time, though, and things are definitely different with Edmonson, on more than a few levels.

Gone are the long red hair and the jazzbo wardrobe she wore at Tanglewood, replaced by brown hair in a pixie cut and simple short red dress, accessorized by chunky heels that (maybe) get her up to about 5’6”. Gone, too, is the reliance on old standards, either from bygone days or more recent times. Edmonson’s been letting her Inner Songwriter run the show for two discs, 2012’s Way Down Low and 2014’s The Big Picture, and her influences are many and varied: She described her composition “The Best” as “a cross between the Beatles – “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” thing – and the theme from ‘Mr. Belvedere’!” One thing that hasn’t changed is Edmonson’s undeniable ability to draw you into the worlds she creates and keep you utterly bewitched, hardly bothered and happily bewildered. And the concert version is just as powerful as the studio model.

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