Performances at 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm
The Lynden Sculpture Garden and Alverno Presents are delighted to offer a program of early works by choreographer Trisha Brown, performed by the Trisha Brown Dance Company in the resonant setting of the Lynden Sculpture Garden.
Among the "early works" are the seminal pedestrian pieces of the '60s and '70s, often created to be performed in unconventional environments outdoors and in daylight. We see this as an opportunity to stage a series of conversations between the sculptures at Lynden (most created in the '60s and the '70s, and by artists who occupied the same creative milieux as Brown and often knew her), and Brown's choreography. More than a recreation of past work, this is a chance to expand our understanding of the impulses and concerns that spurred artists across different disciplines--in that heady transdisciplinary era--to make the work they did; to bring the permanent (though not unchanged) sculpture and ephemeral dance into dialogue almost half a century later. It also allows us to reconsider individual works in the Lynden collection--Mark di Suvero's Lover (1971-73), Forrest Myers's Quartet (1967/2013), Linda Howard's Sky Fence (1976), Tony Smith's The Wandering Rocks (1967-69), Isaac Witkin's Kumo (1970)--and the spaces between them, as we see specific dances performed in and around them: Figure 8 (1974), Spiral (1974), Group Primary Accumulation (1973), Raft Piece (1973), Spanish Dance (1973), Sticks (1973), Accumulation (1971) and Leaning Duets I and II (1970, 1971) .
Trisha Brown moved to New York in 1961, around the time that many of the sculptors who were to become involved in the Park Place Gallery were converging on the city. When the influential exhibition Primary Structures opened at the Jewish Museum in 1966, Brown was immersed in what was to become the post-modern phenomena of Judson Dance Theater; choreographers were redefining performance just as artists were redefining sculpture, and they were often doing it together. When Brown formed her company in 1970, she was making dances in response to the terrain of her adoptive Soho, surrounded by visual artists in low-rent studios. While Brown, in her pioneering pure-dance experiments, was taking the "everyday movement of our pedestrian lives and [giving] it back to us new" (Alistair Macaulay), sculptors like di Suvero and Myers were repurposing the I-beams that surrounded them on the city's construction sites and building monumental works that challenged our sense of scale and geometry.
Though it would be easy to say that Brown, along with like-minded colleagues, was pushing the limits of choreography and thereby changing modern dance forever, while visual artists like Donald Judd were eschewing the representational and exploring manufacturing processes that would permanently alter our idea of sculpture, these movements did not happen in isolation, or along parallel tracks that failed to come into contact. Trisha Brown has a long history of collaborating with visual artists, including Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Judd and Elizabeth Murray. And when her first fully developed cycle of work, Unstable Molecular Structures, concluded in 1983 with Set and Reset, a collaboration with Rauschenberg and Laurie Anderson, it reflected her persistent interest in geometry, built structures, and physical forces like gravity--a series of concerns that were familiar to her contemporaries in the visual arts.