As the 2014 arts season gets underway, artists from Andris Nelsons to Sally Taylor lead you through new experiences driven by the passion for their creative work.
Andris Nelsons Launches Inaugural Season at the BSO, The 134th Season of the BSO is now underway. Nelsons took the podium with a Beethoven, Bartok and Tchaikovsky program through October 3rd and will return November 6-22nd for his second group of programs.
Saturday’s inaugural concert featured soprano Kristine Opolais (Nelsons wife) and tenor Jonas Kaufmann. Nelsons opened with the “Overture to ‘Tannhauser’”, which he first heard as a child, and closed with Respighi’s “Pines of Rome”. He told me as he considered the theme of his inaugural concert, he chose music that resonates with him.
“This all was to enjoy music and to show how emotional music is. How much it can influence you. And that, I think, was our task, and to do it in a very friendly and very positive, maybe even in a naïve-positive way. Because we need to share this positive thing.”
Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-garde to Iconic, On view at the Peabody Essex Museum through January 4th.
Alexander Calder’s abstract works revolutionized modern sculpture and made him one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century. In collaboration with the Calder Foundation, this exhibition brings together nearly 55 of the artist’s mobiles (kinetic metal works propelled by air) and stabiles (dynamic monumental sculptures) to explore how Alexander Calder introduced the visual vocabulary of the French Surrealists into the American vernacular.
Peabody Essex Museum Chief Curator Lynda Roscoe Hartigan told me during my visit that Calder’s moving sculptures are often described as ballets.
“There’s so much in this work because of the wire and the arms and the form in space that you begin to feel, am I looking at painting? Am I looking at sculpture? Am I looking at drawing? But when you think about how a dancer moves, so much of it is about balance and then knowing how to place your weight, how to extend your body and so, you know, I think when you go through this exhibition you begin to see that there are conversations, there are partnerships among some of the works and so, you could say that it’s like choreography,” she said.
Consenses, On view at 212 Elm Street in Somerville through October 7th and on view at Wellesley College November 17 to 30.
For the past two years, Consenses’ Founder Sally Taylor, has engaged artists from around the world, and brought them together by asking them to interpret one another’s artwork in the vein of a game of “Telephone” and express it in their own medium. This process has formed what Sally has termed Interpretative Chains: a collective, holistic statement; an intriguing procession from one piece to the next; the revealing of a unique glimpse into the artistic process and the complexity of perception.
Taylor, who studied anthropology, told me that curating Consenses has enabled her to see the art in each person.
“Everybody’s an artist and that’s really the thing that has been the most compelling for me. What I mean by that is we each have taken a bunch of you know photons and soundwaves and the fabric of where we are and we’ve taken it in through our five senses and we’ve decoded it for ourselves and then we’ve painted what we see and hear and smell and taste and touch. We have painted that. We have painted our reality.
Bent, Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company through October 11th.
This solid production with deft direction and terrific performances explores the often-overlooked persecution of gays in Nazi Germany. It begins just after the “Night of the Long Knives” - also called Operation Hummingbird - when Adolf Hitler purged the SA, the Brown Shirts, of suspected homosexuals. Over three days in the summer of 1934, nearly one-hundred men were killed and thousands more arrested. Bent was originally produced in London’s West End in 1979, starring Ian McKellan in a role Sherman wrote with McKellan in mind. A Tony-nominated Broadway production followed in 1980 which won the Dramatists Guild’s Hull-Warriner Award. Both productions not only won raves, and also exposed a forgotten part of history to a new audience.
This week on Open Studio Jared takes a trip to Plimoth Plantation to see a the new Craft Center and talks with singer-songwriter Sally Taylor about Consenses, her international project on the art of creation.