Walker Art Center

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Minneapolis, May 11, 2017— To celebrate the grand opening of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, community members are invited to participate in a reconstruction and showing of Merce Cunningham’s Field Dances (1963). The dance includes a series of simple movement phrases incorporating everyday movement like walking, running, skipping, falling, sitting, and leaning, in an indeterminate structure that invites dancers to make choices while performing. Cunningham’s subtitle for the dance, “Dances for Everyone,” refers to his intention that the choreography can be done by people with varying levels of dance training and experience.

Local dancers and community members alike are invited to participate in movement workshops with former Merce Cunningham Dance Company dancers Patricia Lent and Jamie Scott. Anyone who attends a free, one-hour workshop can participate in an outdoor public showing of Field Dances in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden on June 3. Participants will gain a deeper look into Merce Cunningham’s artistic process, and a unique chance to commemorate the newly renovated Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Workshops are limited to 30 participants; reserve a spot here: https://form.jotform.us/71144130228141

Showing Schedule (Minneapolis Sculpture Garden)
Saturday, June 3:

11:30 am
1:30 pm
4:30 pm

Workshop Schedule (William and Nadine McGuire Theater)
June 3:

12-1pm (Attendees participate in 1:30 pm outdoor showing.)
3-4 pm (Attendees participate in 4:30 pm outdoor showing.)

Merce Cunningham: Common Time

Merce Cunningham’s dynamic artistic collaborations are the subject of a major interdisciplinary survey organized by the Walker, home to the complete scenic and costume archive of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (MCDC). Renowned as both choreographer and dancer, Cunningham (American, 1919–2009) revolutionized dance through his partnerships with leading artists who created costumes, lighting, films, music, and décor and whose independent creative instincts he held in the highest regard. Common Time offers a journey through a range of experiential installations that unfold at the Walker in seven galleries, the Walker’s McGuire Theater, the Walker Cinema, and public spaces throughout the museum.

Exploring Cunningham’s notion that movement, sound, and visual art could share a “common time,” the exhibition presents Cunningham’s work through rare and never-before seen moving image presentations and installations of stage décor and costumes from the MCDC Collection. These are contextualized through more than 60 works from a range of artists, including composer John Cage, Cunningham’s lifelong collaborator, and William Anastasi, Charles Atlas, Trisha Brown, Tacita Dean, Jasper Johns, Morris Graves, Rei Kawakubo, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Isamu Noguchi, Nam June Paik, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, Elaine Summers, David Tudor, Stan VanDerBeek, Andy Warhol, and many others.Cunningham embraced an expanded possibility of dance, music, and visual art that reads like a how-to guide for pushing the boundaries of art for subsequent generations. In this spirit, the exhibition will also feature new performing arts commissions as well as live dance and music in the theater and galleries. Presentations include a series of in-gallery Events, site-responsive collages of Cunningham repertory performed by dancers from the final company as well as new commissions from leading figures in contemporary choreography and composition, including Charles Atlas, Beth Gill, Maria Hassabi, John King, Rashaun Mitchell, and Silas Riener, among others. The landmark exhibition will investigate the unique working methods, profound relationships, and influence of a choreographer whose singular approach to sharing a “common time” remains one of the most inspirational models of the 20th century for interdisciplinary practice.

Merce Cunningham: Common Time is organized by the Walker Art Center, and copresented with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. The exhibition is curated by Fionn Meade and Philip Bither with Joan Rothfuss and Mary Coyne. The exhibition is on view at the Walker thru July 30, 2017.


Merce Cunningham: Common Time is organized by the Walker Art Center. Lead support for the project is provided by the Barnett and Annalee Newman Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Generous support is also provided by Agnes Gund and the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.

Major support for the Walker’s commissions and presentation is provided by the William and Nadine McGuire Commissioning Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Additional support is generously provided by Molly Davies, the Goodale Family Foundation, the HRK Foundation, Pamela and C. Richard Kramlich, the McKnight Foundation, Leni and David Moore, Jr./The David and Leni Moore Family Foundation, Linda and Larry Perlman, Barbara Pine, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and the Unity Avenue Foundation in memory of Sage and John Cowles. Media partner Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
Open daily, 6 am–12 midnight
The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, one of Minnesota’s favorite summer destinations, reopens June 3.

Merce Cunningham at Black Mountain College 1948 Photo: Hazel Larsen Archer Courtesy of the Estate of Hazel Larsen Archer and the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center