New York City Center Commissions Portrait Series From Nina Robinson
In honor of New York City Center's 75th Anniversary Season, the institution is presenting a program of visual art commissions for the first time in its history. One of three commissioned works, artist and educator Nina Robinson offers her latest project, a series of portraits entitled Home, on display to the public in the through-block passage adjacent to City Center. The exhibition features a variety of artists to whom City Center provides an artistic home including, Victoria Clark, Robert Fairchild, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Robinson is joined by architect Jorge Otero-Pailos and conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner as part of this special visual art program.
"City Center's visual art program is an initiative that began about three years ago when we started?to offer our audiences a different entry point into our mainstage productions by exhibiting work related?to our performance season," said Stanford Makishi, City Center's Vice President of Programming. "For our 75th Anniversary, we sought to expand this program by commissioning original art as a way to celebrate the past and future of City Center."
For her contribution, Robinson sought to expand on her explorations of family, memory, and community. Photographing actors, dancers, and designers in locations of their choosing; she then asked her subjects to define the word "home." The process resulted in twenty images to be shown with corresponding comments from each subject.
"Asking an individual to define "home" can be a startling and intimate question," said Robinson. "For me, home isn't a place as much as it is a feeling. Life as an artist can be emotionally and physically nomadic, yet grounding."
Twelve of the life-size portraits are on view to the general public in the through-block passage adjacent to City Center (131 W 55th Street, between 55th and 56th streets), open from 8am to midnight seven days a week, inviting all to Experience Robinson's work. All twenty portraits will rotate through the exhibit over the course of the season.
NINA ROBINSON is a photographer and educator based in Arkansas and New York. Her work draws on personal experience and bridges documentary photography and fine art. Her current work has a strong focus on underrepresented communities and aims to break the visual prejudices of race, class, age, and gender. Her work has been exhibited at the Bronx Documentary Center, the Bronx Museum, and Arkansas's Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. In addition, Robinson has developed a photo-therapy program that allows participants to personal and social issues through photography. She teaches visual and social workshops pertaining to these topics in the American South.
75th Anniversary Season Sponsors are Stacey and Eric Mindich and the Howard Gilman Foundation
Support for the Visual Arts Commissions is provided by Deborah Goodman Davis and Gerald R. Davis
NEW YORK City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city since 1943. The landmark 75th Anniversary Season (2018 - 2019) pays tribute to this rich history and celebrates the institution's singular role in the arts today. For 25 years, City Center's Tony-honored Encores! series has been "an essential New York institution" (The New York Times). In 2013, City Center launched the Encores! Off-Center series, which features seminal Off-Broadway musicals filtered through the lens of today's innovative artists. Dance has also been integral to the theater's mission from the start and programs like the annual Fall for Dance Festival remain central to City Center's identity. Home to a roster of renowned national and international companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (City Center's Principal Dance Company) and Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City Center was Manhattan's first performing arts center, founded by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia with the mission of making the best in music, theater, and dance accessible to all audiences. That mission continues today through robust education and community engagement programs which bring the performing arts to over 9,000 New York City students each year and the expansion of the theatrical experience to include art exhibitions, pre-show talks, and master classes that offer an up-close look at the work of the great theater and dance artists of our time.