Letter from the Director
Mission & History
Board & Staff
Who's Here Now
Civitella Visual Arts Fellows at Venice Biennale, 2013
June 1 - November 24, 2013
(CRF 1998) will participate in the Cuban Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, and
(CRF 2009) will show her work in the Spanish Pavilion.
(CRF 1998) and
(CRF 1998) will also participate in the Moscow Museum of Modern Art exhibition
Lost in Translation
, which will also be held as part of the Biennale, from May 29 to September 15, 2013.
'Six Degrees of Separate Nations' - Miami, FL
June 8 - September 8, 2013
Dual exhibition with Jamaican artist Ebony G Patterson, curated by Claire Breukel.
Frost Art Museum
Florida International University
10975 S.W. 17th Street
Miami, FL 33199
'China China' - Kiev, Ukraine
May 18 - October 6, 2013
Opening Friday, May 17, 6:00 PM
is an exhibition about two Chinas, about the present and the past and about choices for the future. Dealing with the continuous search for history and with a reality that is shifting from local to a global context. It highlights the different approach in the generation of artists living through the Cultural Revolution, who find their subject in researching the past while dealing with the present, and the new generation, who engages in an uprooted society, moving forward into a new social-cultural future.
Pinchuk Art Centre
1/3-2, "A" Block
Velyka Vasylkivska, Baseyna Street
'More Snake Oil' - Brooklyn, NY
Friday, June 28, 2013
(CRF 2002) will perform new music written for an octet , as well as some “extreme reworkings” of recent smaller ensemble works.
509 Atlantic Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
"Unpacking Global" Artist Lecture - Hong Kong
Friday, May 24, 2013
Vivan Sundaram will give a lecture as part of the series "Unpacking Global", presented by Asia Art Archive.
Asia Art Archive
10/F Hollywood Centre
233 Hollywood Road
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
'Very Short Stories' - Greenwich, CT
May 9 - June 19, 2013
Artist talk on Saturday, June 8, at 2:00 PM
Greenwich Library, 2nd Floor
101 West Putnam Avenue
Greenwich, CT 06830
Premiere of New Opera - New Haven, CT
June 19th and 20th, 2013
On Wednesday, June 19th,
's (CRF 2011) new opera,
My Friend's Story
, will premiere at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, in New Haven, CT. The work, inspired by Chekhov's short story "Terror", features a libretto by J.D. McClatchy, and will be directed by David Chambers.
1156 Chapel Street
New Haven, CT 06510
'Better Homes' - Queens, NY
April 22 - July 22, 2013
44-19 Purves Street
Long Island City, NY 11101
'MetroPAL.IS' - Columbus, OH
May 4 - August 4, 2013
Wexner Center for the Arts
1871 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43201
'Loop' - New York
May 4 - June 22, 2013
Alexander and Bonin
132 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10011
"Granta" Magazine's Best Under 40
(CRF 2007), who was
as one of
magazine's best British novelists under 40.
Sarah will also give several upcoming readings on the East Coast of the U.S. Here is the schedule:
Sunday, May 5th
- 2 PM, Granta at PEN World Voices Festival
Monday, May 6th
- 7 PM, Barnes and Noble, 33 E 17th Street, NY 10003
Tuesday, May 7th
- 7 PM, Community Bookstore, 143 Seventh Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Wednesday, May 8th
- 7 PM, Politics and Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave, NW Washington, DC 20008
Thursday, May 9th
- 6.30 PM, Cambridge Public Library, 449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138
'Ivry souterrain' - Ivry-sur-Seine, France
April 19th - June 23rd, 2013
La Manufacture des Œillets
25-29 rue Raspail
'Dilemma of Politeness'
's (CRF 2009) new book,
Dilemma of Politeness
, was recently published by Kerber Verlag. The book includes documentation of shows, works and sketches from 1988 to the present, and includes texts by Andrea Kroksnes, Maaretta Jaukkuri, and Julia Wirxel, in English, Norwegian, and German.
'Off Scale' - Sao Paulo
March 2nd - May 25th, 2013
Luciana Brito Galeria
R. Gomes de Carvalho 842
Sao Paulo, 55 11 3842 0634
'High Performance Gear' - New York
April 18th - May 25th, 2013
Opening Thursday, April 18th, 6 - 8 PM
's (CRF 2011) new solo exhibition at Bitforms Gallery in New York,
High Performance Gear
, will feature the premiere of a computational videoclock installation,
Jungle: Lopate vs. Bresnick
. The work, which was filmed during the artist's residency at Civitella, tells the story of a casual tennis match at Civitella between essayist
(CRF 2011) and composer
529 West 20th St.
New York, NY 10011
Selections from 'ex libris' - Torino
March 25 - May 31, 2013
Opening Saturday, March 23, 6 PM
Alberto Peola Artecontemporanea
Via della Rocca, 29
'Fun House' - CD Release
's (CRF 2009) new CD,
, was recently released by Songlines. The record features a double trio, with Benoit Delbecq and Fred Hersch on piano, Jean-Jacques Avenel and Mark Helias on bass, Gerry Hemingway on drums, and Steve Argüelles on drums and electronics.
'Integral Geometries' - Long Beach, CA
February 28 - July 7, 2013
's (CRF 2003) new exhibition,
, opens at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, CA, on Thursday, February 28. The exhibition features previously created and new works by Chilindrón, including a series of scale models which you can manipulate in order to understand the unfolding systems of the sculptures. The earliest work,
Table and Chair
, from 2000, represents the connection between her first experiments with furniture and modular objects; and her current constructions in which a hinged two-dimensional shape opens or unfolds to become tridimensional, challenge our perception of space. The hanging sculpture
, from 2009, demonstrates how recognizable forms can be shown in an abstract way. Works such as the large-scale constructions
, both from 2006, consist of polycarbonate sheets of individual geometric shapes that are joined by hinges, thus each sheet is a unit of a whole new geometric shape that opens up in space into different configurations.
Museum of Latin American Art
628 Alamitos Avenue
Long Beach, CA 90802
Butch Morris, 1947 - 2013
Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris
Composer, musician, and conductor Butch Morris (CRF 2001) passed away on January 29th, 2013, at the age of 65. Below, the text of Mr. Morris's obituary in the
New York Times
Butch Morris, who created a distinctive form of large-ensemble music built on collective improvisation that he single-handedly directed and shaped, died on Tuesday in Brooklyn. He was 65.
The cause was cancer, said Kim Smith, his publicist and friend. Mr. Morris, who lived in the East Village, died at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Fort Hamilton.
Mr. Morris referred to his method as “conduction,” short for “conducted improvisation.” He defined the word, which he trademarked, as “an improvised duet for ensemble and conductor.”
He would often begin a performance by setting a tempo with his baton and having his musicians develop a theme spontaneously and then seize on the musical ideas he wanted to work with, directing the ensemble with a vocabulary of gestures and signals. An outstretched upward palm, up or down to indicate volume, meant sustain; a U shape formed with thumb and forefinger meant repeat; a finger to the forehead meant to remember a melodic phrase or a rhythm that he would summon again later.
He introduced this concept in 1985 and at first met resistance from musicians who were not willing to learn the vocabulary and respond to the signals; he was often in a position of asking artists to reorient themselves to his imagination and make something new out of familiar materials. But he demanded to be taken seriously, and he was. After 10 years he had made enough recordings to release “Testament,” a well-received 10-disc set of his work. After 20, he had become an internationally admired creative force, presenting conductions at concert halls worldwide and maintaining regular workshops and performances at the East Village spaces Nublu, Lucky Cheng’s and the Stone.
Mr. Morris, who also played cornet, began his career as a jazz musician in Los Angeles. After settling in New York in the early 1980s, he took his place among both the downtown improvising musicians of the Kitchen and the Knitting Factory and the purveyors of multidisciplinary, mixed-media art flourishing in the city.
Though the bulk of his conductions were with those trained in jazz or new music, many different kinds of performers could take part, as long as they had learned his method. (Five days of rehearsal was his preference.) Conduction No. 1, “Current Trends in Racism in Modern America,” was performed in 1985, at the Kitchen, with a 10-piece ensemble including the saxophonists John Zorn and Frank Lowe, the turntablist Christian Marclay and the singer Yasunao Tone. Others were for full classical orchestras; electronic instruments and music boxes; dancers, actors and visual artists; and gatherings of 19 poets (No. 27) or 15 trumpets (No. 134).
Mr. Morris occasionally used written music or texts, by himself or others — he did this with the saxophonist David Murray’s big band and octet in the early 1990s, and in more recent years with the group Burnt Sugar, an ensemble influenced by his methods, for which he conducted a version of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” — but most often he used no written material at all.
In decades of workshops around the world, and for a stretch, from 1998 to 2001, at Bilgi University in Istanbul, he taught his signals and gestures. Some of these were common to all conductors; some were adapted from the California jazz bandleaders Horace Tapscott and Charles Moffett, whom he had known early in his career (he also cited Sun Ra, Lukas Foss and Leonard Bernstein’s “Two Improvisations for Orchestra” as influences); many were his own.
He said he didn’t care whether people thought his music was jazz or not, although he himself saw it as derived from jazz but not beholden to it. “As long as I’m a black man playing a cornet,” he reasoned, “I’ll be a jazz musician in other people’s eyes. That’s good enough for me. There’s nothing wrong with being called a jazz musician.”
Lawrence Douglas Morris was born in Long Beach, Calif., on Feb. 10, 1947, and grew up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. The son of a career Navy man, he played trumpet in school orchestra, and after high school copied big-band arrangements for a Los Angeles music studio. In 1966 he served in the Army, as a medic in Germany, Vietnam and Japan. Once back home, he joined Mr. Tapscott’s big band, a creative and social hub in the Los Angeles experimental-jazz scene.
After studying music at Grove Street College in Oakland, Calif., he briefly moved to New York. In 1976 he left to play and teach music in France and the Netherlands. In 1981 he relocated permanently to New York, not long after his brother Wilber, the bassist through the 1980s and early ’90s in David Murray’s octet, did.
Wilber Morris died in 2002. Mr. Morris is survived by a son, Alexandre; a brother Michael; and a sister, Marceline. His marriage to Therese Christophe ended in divorce last year.
Conduction, with all its logistical complications and no institutional system to support it, was never a steady source of income. Mr. Morris also taught and sought commissions; he wrote music for dancers, including Min Tanaka, Diane McIntyre and Yoshiko Chuma; he worked as musical director for the short-lived ABC crime series “A Man Called Hawk”; he wrote original music for Ntozake Shange’s play “Spell #7” and for the Wooster Group and the Folger Shakespeare Theater in Washington.
One of his projects, in the early 1990s, was writing music for windup music boxes, for which he asked visual artists he knew — including David Hammons, A. R. Penck, Betye and Alison Saar, and Michael Hafftka — to create the outer shells. But he insisted that the artists not think of them as music boxes. “I tell them, ‘I don’t want to think in terms of boxes,’ ” he explained. “I want to think of them as resonating containers.”
'The Autoconstrucción Suites' - Minneapolis, MN
March 23 - September 22, 2013
The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis hosts this solo exhibition and survey of the artist's past two decades of work. The exhibition will travel to Munich in December 2013, and to Mexico in October 2014.
Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
2nd Project Biennial D-0 ARK Underground - Sarajevo/Konjic
April 26 - September 26, 2013
Opening April 26, 2013, 10 AM - 6 PM
Biennal of Contemporary Art
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Jonathan Harvey, 1939 - 2012
Composer Jonathan Harvey (CRF 1999) passed away on December 4th, 2012, at the age of 73. He was a Fellow at Civitella Ranieri in 1999, and had this to say about his time there:
The experience of Civitella Ranieri is unbeatable. I have never enjoyed such perfect psychological conditions before. I think of peace, silence and color – all mingled together in mountains, light, paintings, medieval stone – and music. The memory lingers on as a model (interior) for a state of mind I profit from revisiting in my work.
Below, the text of Mr. Harvey's obituary in the
Jonathan Harvey, the composer, who has died aged 73, combined mystical and religious themes with ever more complex electroacoustic techniques; if his name was not recognised among the public at large, to aficionados of the avant garde he was arguably Britain’s senior composer.
Although Harvey exuded an air of the Anglican musicianship that coloured his upbringing as a choirboy, he was anxious to avoid the tonal music associated with the Church. “I’m too much in love with high clusters, the sound you get from electronics,” he once said. Despite his background, he practised Buddhism, which informed both his music and his character: a man of humanity and integrity, both traits were evident in his work.
Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco (1980) — probably his best-known work — takes its name from an engraving on a bell in Winchester Cathedral, but is in fact a taped piece that uses digital synthesis to fuse the bell’s sound with the treble voice of Harvey’s choirboy son. In a similar religious vein, Ashes Dance Back, for choir and electronics, offers a spectral, almost supernatural look at the English choral tradition; while the 25-minute Messages (2009) simply takes as its text a list of the names of angels.
He was also known for Persephone Dream (1972), one of his earliest orchestral works. While it retells the Greek myth of the beautiful daughter of Zeus and Demeter carried off by Hades, on a musical level it builds on just four chords repeated in increasingly complex multiplications. Described at the time of its composition as “perhaps the most sophisticated score produced by an English composer of Harvey’s generation”, it was heard at the Proms in 1981 under Charles Groves.
Another work, Bhakti (1982), uses electronics recorded at the IRCAM studio in Paris to underpin 12 orchestral sections that were inspired by the Rig Veda, sacred Sanskrit texts; Sringara Chaconne (2009) again fused Western culture with Hindu philosophy (sringara meaning love, the chaconne being a Baroque dance based on the same few repeated chords). The idea of a journey, both musical and spiritual, was depicted in Speakings (2009), which opens with a scream but closes with a hymn; Harvey described it as “the most complicated and ambitious composition I have ever written”.
If mainstream concert series could only occasionally perform his music, specialist festivals adored it. In 1995 nine of his works, including the premiere of the minute-long Fanfare for Utopia, formed a cornerstone of the Bath Festival, while in 2009 he was composer in residence at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
For Harvey there was no disconnection between the ancient and the modern. Music – whatever its dissonance – served only the purpose that had been imbued in him in childhood: “I never got over that sense of making music for the glory of God,” he said in 2009 of his upbringing, “because we had nobody to listen to except God.”
Jonathan Dean Harvey was born on May 3 1939 at Sutton Coldfield, the son of a businessman who was also an amateur composer and a Baroque enthusiast. Jonathan was brought up with the rites and rituals of the Church of England at St Michael’s College, Tenbury, in Worcestershire. He recalled that at the age of 11 he heard the church organist hit a wild chord while improvising after the service and vowed then that musical dissonance would be his future.
At Repton he played cello with the National Youth Orchestra and then won a scholarship to read Music at St John’s College, Cambridge. There he was in contact with Benjamin Britten, who guided him towards Erwin Stein, and later Hans Keller, both Austrian refugees in London and both immersed in the ethos of the Second Viennese School. His early works were devoid of electronic input: a String Quartet from 1962 that suggested Bartók, Tippett and Fauré won the Clements Memorial Prize.
He took his PhD at Glasgow (where he played with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, with which he would later be composer in association, 2005-08) and, in 1966 experienced a “Stockhausen conversion”, an epiphany that drew him to the work of the controversial Serialist. “To someone brought up on Stanford and Vaughan Williams, discovering Stockhausen was a very heady thing,” he told The Daily Telegraph in 2009. He credited Stockhausen with giving him the courage to bring Eastern spirituality into his music, and the composer was the subject of his first major book, The Music of Stockhausen, published in 1975.
While lecturing at Southampton University (1964-77), Harvey was awarded a Harkness Fellowship to Princeton, where he encountered Milton Babbitt, a composer whose fiendishly complex music has been described as “possibly the most impenetrable of the 20th century”, and carried out his first experiments with electronic music.
During a lengthy stint at Sussex University (as reader, 1977-80, then professor, 1980-95) he accepted an invitation from Pierre Boulez to work at IRCAM , Boulez’s electroacoustic research institute in Paris. This resulted in at least eight major works and effectively established his position at the cutting edge of avant-garde composers. It also ensured that, although he remained based in Britain, his reputation was arguably greater in France and Germany than in his homeland.
He was similarly learned in his writing: in Music and Inspiration (1999), a reworking of his doctoral thesis, Harvey attempted to understand and define what artistic inspiration really is and how it affects musicians. More than a decade later, in 2010, he called for classical music to be amplified in the concert hall and for orchestras to abandon the confines of the formal venue in order to appeal to younger audiences; this generated much media debate, if little action.
For many years Harvey’s publisher, Faber & Faber, tried to make the most of his West Midlands upbringing, particularly with the conductor Simon Rattle, formerly of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Eventually, a major 90-minute oratorio, Weltethos, evoking texts by the controversial Swiss theologian Hans Küng from six major religions, was commissioned for Rattle’s Berlin Philharmonic and premiered in October 2011.
For Harvey, however, it was almost too late: he was lying on his deathbed, crippled by motor neurone disease, listening via the internet. Nevertheless, he survived to hear its British premiere in Birmingham this year, as part of the Cultural Olympiad. Ivan Hewitt, writing in The Daily Telegraph, noted that the “gentle tentativeness” of Harvey’s music evoked “a utopian vision”. It was later heard at the South Bank, months after the BBC had devoted a “Total Immersion” weekend to his music at the Barbican.
While the nature of his music – juxtaposing moments of simplicity with others of intricate sophistication – necessarily made him a connoisseurs’ choice, the man himself neither courted fame nor followed fashion. He was gentle, soft-spoken and blissfully self-effacing, content in his own spirituality. Consequently – although Timepieces, a recording of his work by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, won a Gramophone Award for contemporary music in 2008 – Harvey remains to be discovered by a wide audience.
Jonathan Harvey married, in 1960, Rosa Barry, who survives him with their son and daughter.
Jonathan Harvey, born May 3 1939, died December 4 2012
Work on view in New York
October 2012 - Spring 2013
Broken Bridge II
at the High Line
For High Line Art,
(CRF 2001) will present a newly-configured installation of
, a monumental drapery made of pressed tin and mirrors, which will hang on an outdoor wall adjacent to the park. Composing a stunning visual of wave-like patterns and folds, the work will reflect the surrounding landscape and mark the artist’s first outdoor installation in the United States.
The High Line
10th Avenue between West 21st and West 22nd Streets
New York, NY 10011
February 8th - August 4th, 2013
Gravity and Grace
at the Brooklyn Museum
The first solo exhibition in a New York museum by the globally renowned contemporary artist El Anatsui, this show will feature over 30 works in metal and wood that transform appropriated objects into site-specific sculptures. Anatsui converts found materials into a new type of media that lies between sculpture and painting, combining aesthetic traditions from his birth country, Ghana; his home in Nsukka, Nigeria; and the global history of abstraction.
Included in the exhibition are twelve recent monumental wall and floor sculptures, widely considered to represent the apex of Anatsui’s career. The metal wall works, created with bottle caps from a distillery in Nsukka, are pieced together to form colorful, textured hangings that take on radically new shapes with each installation. Anatsui is captivated by his materials’ history of use, reflecting his own nomadic background. Gravity and Grace responds to a long history of innovations in abstract art and performance, building upon cross-cultural exchange among Africa, Europe, and the Americas and presenting works in a wholly new, African medium.
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Inc.