The Jewish Museum Announces July Programs

The Jewish Museum Announces July Programs

Continuing the Jewish Museum's slate of lectures, discussions, and events, July 2014 programs include a performance of Minimalist music in partnership with Bang on a Can, inspired by the exhibition Other Primary Structures; a screening of Sign Painters, a 2012 documentary; and the next event in the popular after-hours series, The Wind Up.

Further program and ticket information is available at or by calling 212.423.3200.


Bang on a Can: Other Primary Structures

The William Petschek Family Endowed Music Program

Thursday, July 10, 7:30 pm

This concert, featuring Bang on a Can All-Stars Vicky Chow (piano) and David Cossin (percussion) with Dither Quartet guitarists Taylor Levine and James Moore, is the first auditorium concert of the Jewish Museum and Bang on a Can's new partnership to produce a series of dynamic musical performances at the Museum from June 2014 to May 2015, inspired by the Jewish Museum's diverse array of exhibitions. The performance will feature works by Minimalist composers such as Philip Glass and Louis Andriessen, and is presented in conjunction with Other Primary Structures, an exhibition of global sculpture from the 1960s. At the same time that visual artists were pioneering the style that became known as Minimalism, their friends and counterparts in music were following a similar path. In New York, Philip Glass reduced the musical experience to a handful of notes and patterns. The young Dutch master Louis Andriessen experimented with removing notes, orchestration, and instrumental hierarchies from music, leaving only rhythm. This program will also include music by three New Yorkers influenced by Glass and Andriessen - John Zorn, Michael Gordon, and David Lang.

Bang on a Can is dedicated to making music new. Founded by composers Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe, who curated the first Marathon concert in 1987 and remain co-Artistic Directors to this day, Bang on a Can has been creating an international community dedicated to innovative music, wherever it is found. With adventurous programs, it commissions new composers; performs, presents, and records new work; develops new audiences; and educates the musicians of the future. "Bang on a Can plays "a central role in fostering a new kind of audience that doesn't concern itself with boundaries. If music is made with originality and integrity, these listeners will come" (The New York Times). Current projects include the annual Bang on a Can Marathon; The People's Commissioning Fund, a membership program to commission emerging composers; the Bang on a Can All-Stars, who tour to major festivals and concert venues around the world; the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MASS MoCA, a professional development program for young musicians; Asphalt Orchestra, Bang on a Can's extreme street band; and Found Sound Nation, a musical outreach program partnering with the U.S. State Department to create OneBeat, a program that bridges the gulf between young American musicians and young musicians from developing countries. For more information, visit

Tickets: $18 General; $15 Students and Seniors; $12 Jewish Museum and Bang on a Can List Members

This is How We Do It: Norman L. Kleeblatt and Calvin Tsao

Thursday, July 17, 6:30pm

Norman Kleeblatt, Susan & Elihu Rose Chief Curator, the Jewish Museum, and Calvin Tsao of Tsao & McKown Architects will discuss their numerous collaborations on exhibition design, including Mel Bochner: Strong Language.

Over the past twenty-five years, Norman Kleeblatt has played a key role in shaping the holdings of the Jewish Museum, acquiring unique, culturally relevant works in various media for the collection of modern and contemporary art. Kleeblatt is known for his broad ranging exhibitions including the 2008 award-winning Action/Abstraction: Pollock, De Kooning, and American Art, 1940-1976 (2008). Among other exhibitions organized by Mr. Kleeblatt are The Dreyfus Affair: Art, Truth and Justice (1987) and Too Jewish? Challenging Traditional Identities (1996). He was also co-curator for An Expressionist in Paris: The Paintings of Chaim Soutine (1998) and Painting a Place in America: Jewish Artists in New York, 1900-1945 (1991).

Calvin Tsao is recognized as one of the most original voices in contemporary architecture, drawing from his own experience of diverse cultures and a lively engagement with a variety of art forms. Mr. Tsao has received the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) Legacy Award and the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Interior Design, along with his partner Zack McKown. A Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, he has taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the Cooper Union, Syracuse University and at the Parsons School of Design, and has also served as guest critic and lectured at universities internationally.

Mel Bochner: Strong Language is a survey of Bochner's career-long fascination with the cerebral and visual associations of words. The exhibition include over 70 text-based works. Among the highlights are his mid-1960s Portrait Drawings, never before exhibited in New York, and paintings from the last decade using synonyms appropriated from the latest edition of Roget's Thesaurus. Bochner was inspired by the Thesaurus' new permissiveness to broaden his linguistic references juxtaposing proper with vernacular, formal against vulgar, high against low. His Working Drawings and Other Visible Things on Paper Not Necessarily Meant to be Viewed as Art is considered to be the first Conceptual Art exhibition. Mel Bochner (b. 1940) emerged at a time when young artists considered painting exhausted. A pioneer in incorporating language into visual art, Bochner has taken an unusual turn toward painterly expressiveness during the past two decades. Mel Bochner: Strong Language reveals the artist's longstanding engagement with the possibilities of language as image, medium, and content. Visitors are able to see a broad selection ranging from often witty early conceptual works to vibrantly colored and lushly executed recent paintings.

Free with Museum admission

The Wind Up: Alphabet Party

Thursday, July 24, 8pm - 11pm

The Museum's popular series of after-hours events featuring art, live music, activities, and an open bar, returns to celebrate the cerebral and colorful Thesaurus paintings of Mel Bochner. This evening of music and art will feature exhibition tours of Mel Bochner: Strong Language, and a genre-blending live performance by High Water, a multi-instrumental artist on the rise. Other activities include block printing tote bags (or BYO t-shirts) inspired by the exhibition, a kosher wine tasting, summery treats, and an open bar with beer and wine.

Tickets: $13 in advance; $18 day of event

Screening: Sign Painters (2012, 1 hr., 20 min.)

Thursday, July 31, 6:30 pm

This documentary features more than two dozen sign painters working across the country, from established veterans, to young artists starting shops in San Francisco and New York. Disproving assumptions that their craft has been rendered obsolete by technological innovations, the film identifies a burgeoning renaissance in the sign painters' trade and a growing trend to seek out traditional practitioners. The Boston Globe called Sign Painters "fresh and passionate and unexpected." Following the screening, directors Faythe Levine and Sam Macon will participate in a Q&A and sign copies of their related book, Sign Painters (2012, Princeton Architectural Press), the first anecdotal history of the craft.

Tickets: $12 General; $8 Students and Seniors; $5 Members

A Closer Look Gallery Talks

Mondays, 1:00pm

Educators and curators engage visitors in discussions about select works of art in the exhibition, Mel Bochner: Strong Language on July 7 and 21, and in Other Primary Structures on July 14 and 28.

Free with Museum Admission

Bang on a Can: Other Primary Structures is made possible by a generous endowment from the William Petschek Family.

Public Programs at the Jewish Museum are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Major annual support is provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

About the Jewish Museum

Located on Museum Mile at Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, the Jewish Museum is one of the world's preeminent institutions devoted to exploring art and Jewish culture from ancient to contemporary, offering intellectually engaging, educational, and provocative exhibitions and programs for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Museum was established in 1904, when Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated 26 ceremonial objects to The Jewish Theological Seminary as the core of a museum collection. Today, the Museum maintains a collection of over 30,000 works of art, artifacts, and broadcast media reflecting global Jewish identity, and presents a diverse schedule of internationally acclaimed temporary exhibitions.

The Jewish Museum is located at 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, New York City. Museum hours are Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, 11am to 5:45pm; Thursday, 11am to 8pm; and Friday, 11am to 4pm. Museum admission is $15.00 for adults, $12.00 for senior citizens, $7.50 for students, free for visitors 18 and under and Jewish Museum members. Admission is Pay What You Wish on Thursdays from 5pm to 8pm and free on Saturdays. For information on the Jewish Museum, the public may call 212.423.3200 or visit the website at

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