Artist Vargas-Suarez Universal to Unveil Work in Miller Theatre Lobby, 10/10

Artist Vargas-Suarez Universal to Unveil Work in Miller Theatre Lobby, 10/10

Miller Theatre and The Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University have announced they will unveil a new site-specific work in the Miller Theatre lobby: VECTOR COMPOSITION NO. 1 by Brooklyn-based artist Vargas-Suarez Universal.

The first collaboration between The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery and Miller Theatre, the temporary exhibition will be on view throughout Miller's 25th Anniversary Season, October 10, 2013 through May 31, 2014 at
Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th Street).

From Miller Theatre Executive Director Melissa Smey:
"As one of the University's only public entrances on Broadway, Miller Theatre's lobby is a uniquely visible public space on the Columbia campus. I couldn't be more delighted to be working with Deborah Cullen, the Wallach Gallery's director and curator, to animate the space and publicly affirm the University's commitment to the arts by installing Rafael Vargas-Suarez's new work here. It's a collaboration I've wanted to bring to fruition for a number of years, and I'm so happy that it's happening this season, for our 25th Anniversary. I hope it will be the first of many."

Brooklyn-based artist Rafael Vargas-Suarez-known as Vargas-Suarez Universal-will transform the Miller Theatre lobby into an immersive artwork, with abstract geometric marks suggestive of notes on a musician's staff paper.

Vector Composition No. 1 will be unveiled in the Miller Theater lobby on October 10, 2013, the same night as the opening concert of the theater's acclaimed new-music series Composer Portraits, featuring Georg Friedrich Haas. It will mark the first collaboration between Columbia's two major artistic presenting spaces, The Wallach Art Gallery and Miller Theatre. The site-specific wall drawing will be on view throughout the theater's 25th anniversary season, greeting thousands of concertgoers as they arrive for performances over the course of the year.

"[Vargas-Suarez's] painting is seductive and strong."- Art Review

"Vargas-Suarez Universal's matrix of lines and kaleidoscopic array of shapes at the Jersey City Museum is a monster...It is bold and intriguing, looming above you like some colossal ruin or a distant, mountainous urban sprawl." - The New York Times

In Vargas-Suarez's own words:
"The point of departure for this piece is my constant observation of the public's commentary that my wall drawings, paintings and overall aesthetic looks 'musical.' I find this opinion quite accurate since I almost exclusively draw and paint while listening to music. I pace myself to the rhythm of songs from classical to progressive and experimental musical artists from one artwork to another."

This new work will be the first of the artist's to directly explore the relationship between his art and music.

Deborah Cullen adds:
"As the new Director of The Wallach Art Gallery, I am seeking opportunities to bring vital art to our community, both in and out of our gallery. Vargas-Suarez Universal weaves together art with science. His commission will raise critical questions while being very accessible to a wide audience."

Located on Broadway at 116th Street, the Miller Theatre lobby is open to the public Mondaythrough Friday, from 10am to 6pm, and beginning two hours before each scheduled performance.

About Vargas-Suarez Universal
Rafael Vargas-Suarez (b. 1972, Mexico City), more commonly known as Vargas-Suarez Universal, is an artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Vargas-Suarez was raised in the Houston suburb of Clear Lake City, adjacent to the Johnson Space Center (NASA). From 1991 to 1996 he studied astronomy and art history at the University of Texas at Austin and moved to New York City in 1997. He is primarily known for large-scale wall drawings, paintings, drawings, and sound recordings sourced from the American and Russian manned and unmanned spaceflight programs, astronomy, and aerospace architecture. Post-studio research is conducted in Cape Canaveral, FL; Houston, TX; Korolyov (Moscow), Russia; and Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

About The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery
The Wallach Art Gallery contributes to Columbia's long-standing tradition of historical, critical, and creative engagement in the visual arts, by presenting exhibitions and related programming that reflect the diversity of interests and approaches to the arts at the University. While embodying the Columbia's high standards for research and instruction, exhibitions strive to include the broad range of research and production undertaken by students and faculty, and to animate the University's rich cultural resources. (

About Miller Theatre at Columbia Univeristy
Miller Theatre at Columbia University is the leading presenter of new music in New York City and one of the most vital forces nationwide for innovative programming. In partnership with Columbia University School of the Arts, Miller is dedicated to producing and presenting unique events in dance, contemporary and early music, jazz, opera, and performance. Founded in 1988 with funding from John Goelet, Brooke Astor, and the Kathryn Bache Miller Fund, Miller Theatre has built a reputation for attracting new and diverse audiences to the performing arts and expanding public knowledge of contemporary music.

Columbia University's Miller Theatre is located north of the Main Campus Gate
at 116th St. & Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall.

Directions and information is available online at
or via the Miller Theatre Box Office, at 212.854.7799.


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