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Exhibition: Kabbalah, Jewish Museum, Vienna
10/31/2018 - 03/03/2019
Location: Jewish Historical Museum, AmsterdamDetails >
Harry Smith’s experimental cinema simultaneously engages with Kabbalah and reflects on the Beat Generation’s wider exploration of esoteric spiritual practices. Smith’s Tree of Life (1954) will be exhibited. Bookmarks featuring Smith’s Tree of Life will be available to visitors.
Related Publication: https://www.cornerhousepublications.org/publications/kabbalah/
Notable: Jonas Mekas (December 24, 1922 – January 23, 2019)
Jonas Mekas, filmmaker, writer, critic, founder of Anthology Film Archives and Harry Smith supporter has left the earth. Introduced to Harry Smith via Allen Ginsberg in 1960, early on Mekas championed Harry Smith’s work in the Village Voice and was part of the Anthology committee who added Smith’s works to the Essential Cinema Repertory collection thereby ensuring regular screenings since 1968. For decades Mekas supported Harry Smith financially and otherwise safeguarding his work for future generations.
Symposium: World Receivers: Mediumistic Art in Theory and Practice 1850-1950
01/25/2019 - 01/26/2019
Location: Lenbachhaus Munich, GermanyDetails >
Independently of each other, Georgiana Houghton (1814–1884), Hilma af Klint (1862–1944), and Emma Kunz (1892–1963) developed abstract imagery highly charged with meaning. The artists saw themselves as receivers of messages that only they could perceive. Their artworks resulted from their spiritual experiences and their communication with a higher world. With their works, all three strove to make visible the laws of nature, the spiritual, and the supernatural.
John Whitney (1917–1995), James Whitney (1921–1982), and Harry Smith (1923–1991) also endeavored to use artistic means to visualize spiritual worlds and cosmic principles. In California during the postwar era, they produced abstract films, which—like the works of Houghton, af Klint, and Kunz—pose new challenges to art theory in their dual role as aesthetically convincing works of art and instruments for gaining higher insight.
Related Publication: https://www.universitypressbooks.com/book/9783777431574
Related Symposium: https://www.lenbachhaus.de/fileadmin/images/2-ausstellungen/2018/Spiritistinnen/Programm_FINAL_En.pdf
Exhibition: Allen Ruppersberg : What A Strange Day It Has Been
02/16/2019 - 03/23/2019
Location: Marc Selwyn Gallery, Los AngelesDetails >
The central focus of the exhibition was an 11 x 33 foot autobiographical installation papering the main gallery wall with images and objects from the artist’s life. The work, titled BACKGROUND/FOREGROUND: A MEMOIR, is replete with material from the artist’s collection of newspapers, magazines, books, photographs and other literary and visual sources. A multi column index to the memoir, superimposed on the explosion of images, completes the work. The cover of the Getty publication Harry Smith: The Avant Garde in the American Vernacular appears.
Exhibition: Kabbalah – the Jewish Art of Mysticism
03/28/2019 - 08/25/2019
Location: Jewish Historical Museum, AmsterdamDetails >
Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam
Spread across all the Jewish Cultural Quarter locations, Kabbalah: The Art of Jewish Mysticism is a show that attempts to rectify that. The main presentation in the Jewish Historical Museum introduces Kabbalah with displays of ancient texts alongside work by modern and contemporary artists. The exhibition starts in a kind of decompression chamber in which visitors are transported from the familiar everyday world into the mysterious realm of Kabbalah. Works by artists such as Barnett Newman, R.B. Kitaj, Marc Chagall, Harry Smith and Anselm Kiefer reveal how they were inspired by Kabbalah.
Exhibition: The Smiths
07/03/2019 - 08/02/2019
Location: Marlborough GalleryDetails >
Marlborough Fine Art, London England
Curated by the artist Maurizio Cattelan the exhibition featured over 30 artists with the surname Smith. It spanned multiple generations, styles and mediums from an ink drawing from David Smith to a self-taught young sculptor from Philadelphia Kambel Smith. The exhibtion provokes fortuitous and unexpected synchronicities. Harry Smith’s “Tree of Life” was featured.
Notable: Robert Frank (November 9, 1924 – September 9, 2019)
Photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank passed away at the age of 94 years. Most noted for his book The Americans, Robert Frank was one of the first to realize that Harry Smith the filmmaker was also the creator of the Anthology of American Folk Music. John Cohen, a photographer himself and a member of the New Lost City Ramblers, loaned the records to Frank, who lived next door. Frank played the LPs incessantly, especially the rendition of “He Got Better Things for You” by the Memphis Sanctified Singers. A friend, colleague and Supporter of the Archives for decades, Frank documented Harry Smith’s move in “Harry Smith at the Breslin Hotel” (2018).
Notable: John Cohen (August 2, 1932 – September 16, 2019)
John Cohen (August 2, 1932 – September 16, 2019) was an American musician, photographer and film maker who performed and documented the traditional music of the rural South and played a major role in the American folk music revival. one of the first to realize Harry Smith’s broad range of interest, from American music, string figures, linguistics, film and more. We mourn the loss of a dear friend.
Harry Smith at the Chelsea Hotel
Location: Dixon Place TheaterDetails >
Harry Smith at the Chelsea Hotel, a play conceived and directed by Terese Coe was performed At Dixon Place Theater on October 23rd . The play explored the ferment and the foment of the Chelsea Hotel and all that swirled around the room of artist Harry Smith. Coe, a writer and translator drew from first-hand experiences. “Harry was a dear friend and supporter of my writing in the sense that he talked about it with me. In his room I met [poet] Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, [art collector] Isabella Gardner, [guitarist] Mike Bloomfield, and Leonard Cohen, among others.”
Record Release: Fatal Flower Garden EP (A Tribute to Harry Smith) released on Nonesuch
11/01/2019 - 11/30/2019Details >
Sam Amidon offers his take on four songs from Anthology of American Folk Music, Smith’s beloved and influential 1920s and ’30s folk music recordings.