New York Live Arts’ Ford Foundation Live Gallery Announces 'CROWD (for Bill T. Jones)' Exhibition
New York Live Arts' Ford Foundation Live Gallery is currently featuring CROWD (for Bill T. Jones), a commissioned, site-specific work by artist Donald Baechler. Before Live Arts visitors enter the theater and third floor studio space, they will encounter Baechler's monumental mural. A large-scale paper collage constructed directly on the wall, the work is on view now through January 2013. Members of the press are invited to the view the work at an opening reception on Tuesday, September 18th, 6:30 – 7:30PM. New York Live Arts' 2012-13 presenting season opens the same night, starting at 7:30pm, with Voices of Strength: Dance and Theater by Women from Africa.
Baechler's mural at New York Live Arts is a continuation of a series of works on paper in the CROWD series that he began creating in the late 1990s. For many years Baechler has been building a very personal image archive, incorporating his own drawings along with found imagery and images created specifically for him. An essential part of his compositional process has been to select precisely the right image out of the many thousands of possibilities he has on hand and incorporate this image into a larger pictorial field.
"The mural draws from my earlier series of CROWD paintings and prints, and incorporates many new drawings from my more current vocabulary of images," explained Baechler. "When I first saw the lobby space, my initial impulse for the New York Live Arts gallery wall was to supersize one of my CROWD compositions, and the challenge was how to proceed given the added complexities of working on location. I'm delighted with the results!"
Like wallpaper, the mural adheres directly to the surface of the wall, and covers the entire south-facing wall of the gallery. The artist designed this configuration of the mural specifically for the Ford Foundation Live Gallery. The width and height of the wall allowed Baechler to scale the mural to a colossal size-it measures more than 31 feet wide and over 10 feet high-the largest he has ever made. The effect is to transform the space and create an immersive environment.
"The field of dance has a rich history of visual artists engaging with movement-based artists. Our presentation of Baechler's CROWD is our acknowledgement that many choreographers and contemporary visual artists are part of a larger community of conceptual artists," said Jean Davidson, Executive Director & CEO of New York Live Arts. Baechler also has a long association with New York Live Arts Executive Artistic Director Bill T. Jones, whom he first met in the 1980s. Jones and Baechler began collaborating on stage sets in the 1990s.
Also on view in the New York Live Arts' Ford Foundation Live Gallery is Baechler's Flower from 2005. With this work, and others from his well-known flower series, Baechler explores texture, line, color, form, and balance. The result is a complex and engaging composition that beckons the viewer to look beyond a recognizable symbol and consider the process of art-making. Flower is one of a group of works by visual artists affiliated with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company which helped support the creation of New York Live Arts. The unique collection of works also includes works by Robert Longo, Alex Katz, FrEd Wilson, Julian Schnabel and other major artists.
CROWD (for Bill T. Jones), 2012
Paper collage and latex paint
31' 8" X 10' 3"
Commissioned by New York Live Arts, Courtesy of Donald Baechler and Cheim & Read.
Gouache, vinyl paint and collage on paper
3' 4" X 4' 4"
Courtesy of Donald Baechler and Cheim & Read
On View now through January 2013