Tuesday, June 8, 2021, 2pm EDT
The seventh episode of Gagosian Premieres celebrates Gerhard Richter: Cage Paintings—an exhibition presented at Gagosian New York and Beverly Hills—with a musical performance and reading by Patti Smith, new choreography created and performed by Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener in response to the artist’s work, and commentaries by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Richard Calvocoressi.
Throughout his career, Richter has approached abstraction with characteristic rigor, employing varying combinations of process and chance to produce works that range from austere monochromes to richly chromatic compositions. The six large-scale Cage paintings (2006) are made by using a broad squeegee to drag paint from one side of the canvas to the other. They are titled after influential composer, artist, and philosopher John Cage (1912–1992), whose pursuit of indeterminacy in music—reflected in his use of chance operations as compositional tools—resonates with Richter, who has compared his own process to the act of arranging a score.
In a special performance filmed at the gallery in New York, Patti Smith—accompanied by guitarist Tony Shanahan—sings “Wing” from her 1996 album Gone Again; she also expresses her admiration for Richter and the inherent musicality of his works in spoken reflections on the exhibition, and reads excerpts from Cage’s text “Lecture on Nothing” (1959), in which the composer describes his move toward a more experimental methodology.
Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener, who previously worked together in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, perform their own new choreography in the exhibition space, tracing the connections between Richter, Cage, and Cunningham. The pair, whose collaborative work addresses the ways in which abstraction and representation coincide in the body, dance to “Experiences No. 2” (1948) by Cage, which was composed using the rhythmic structure of a dance by Cunningham. This work is choreographed in relation to the context and will never be performed again.
In his commentary on the exhibition, art historian and Gagosian director Richard Calvocoressi discusses the Cage paintings’ formal qualities, explaining how Richter’s use of the squeegee reveals layers of color in a way that evokes, among many other areas of visual perception, the fragmented imagery of torn billboard posters. He also talks about their connection to the drawings on view—specifically to their dependence on erasure—and the essential mystery of Richter’s project as a whole.
Finally, Hans Ulrich Obrist, director of the Serpentine Galleries, London, describes how Richter’s paintings and drawings take different routes to achieve formal multidimensionality. He remembers his initial encounter with the Cage paintings at the artist’s studio in 2007 as being like witnessing “an apparition.” “It was immediately clear to me,” he recalls, “that this was one of the greatest cycles of paintings that Gerhard had ever done.”
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Past Episodes & Trailers
Thursday, August 5, 2021, 2pm EDT
Featuring Gustavo Dudamel with YOLA, Julian Rose, and esperanza spalding
The eighth episode of Gagosian Premieres celebrates Frank Gehry: Spinning Tales—an exhibition of new work presented at Gagosian, Beverly Hills—featuring musical performances by esperanza spalding and Gustavo Dudamel and YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), and a conversation between Frank Gehry and Julian Rose conducted in Gehry’s Los Angeles studio.
Tuesday, May 11, 2021, 2pm EDT
Featuring Iwona Blazwick, Max Richter, and Mark Waldron
The sixth episode of Gagosian Premieres celebrates Rachel Whiteread’s exhibition Internal Objects at Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London, with a conversation between the artist and art critic and curator Iwona Blazwick, and performances by composer and pianist Max Richter and poet Mark Waldron.
Tuesday, March 23, 2021, 2pm EDT
Featuring James Cuno, Hugo Marchand, Florent Melac, and Hannah O’Neill
For the fifth episode of Gagosian Premieres, we celebrate Anselm Kiefer: Field of the Cloth of Gold—a new exhibition at Gagosian, Le Bourget—with a conversation between the artist and art historian James Cuno and a debut ballet performance by Hugo Marchand and Hannah O’Neill, choreographed by Florent Melac and set to music composed by Steve Reich.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 2pm EST
Featuring Flea, Missy Mazzoli, Vernon Reid, and Eddie Ruscha
The fourth episode of Gagosian Premieres celebrates Ed Ruscha’s exhibition at Gagosian New York with musicians Flea, Missy Mazzoli, Vernon Reid, and Eddie Ruscha and new music created in response to the work.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020, 2pm EST
Featuring Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Simon Schama, and the Aaron Diehl Trio
For the third episode of the online event series Gagosian Premieres, Jenny Saville will celebrate her exhibition Elpis at Gagosian New York with painter Nathaniel Mary Quinn and historian Simon Schama, with a performance by the Aaron Diehl Trio, who will play music by Philip Glass as well as a new composition inspired by the work on view.
Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 2pm EDT
Featuring Malcolm Gladwell, Elvis Mitchell, and Jeff Tweedy
For the second episode of Gagosian Premieres, we celebrate Gregory Crewdson: An Eclipse of Moths—a new exhibition at Gagosian, Los Angeles—with author Malcolm Gladwell, film critic Elvis Mitchell, musician and author Jeff Tweedy, and the artist.
While the episode is airing, Crewdson will answer questions on YouTube LiveChat and present a signed and numbered limited-edition book, published by Aperture, with a personal inscription to one viewer who participates in the conversation.
Friday, October 9, 2020, 5pm EDT
Featuring Thurston Moore and Hunter Drohojowska-Philp
For the first episode of Gagosian Premieres, we celebrate Mary Weatherford: Train Yards—a new exhibition at Gagosian, London—with an exclusive performance by Thurston Moore inside the gallery and a conversation between Mary Weatherford and Hunter Drohojowska-Philp in the artist’s Los Angeles studio.