Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company in Concert

Bridging tradition and innovation, the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company brings the power and elegance of this ancient Chinese art form into the free and dynamic world of contemporary dance. An award winning choreographer, Nai-Ni Chen is blazing a new path for Asian dance heritage in America.

“Nai-Ni Chen is the rare modern dance choreographer who chooses nature as a frequent subject…her impressive young company stood out for a remarkably smooth blend…intensely personal approach to nature”,

-Jennifer Dunning, The New York Times

December 11, 7:30 PM
Concert Hall
$25, $20, $15; Five College students & Youth 17 and under, $15


Saturday, December 6th, 2008

8:30 am – Bus departure Amherst,
9:00 am – departure Northampton

10:15 am – Tadao Ando: Clark’s Stone Hill Center
Built on a grassy hillside a short hike through the woods from the Clark’s main buildings, it is a two-story, 32,000-square-foot gray box of steel, cedar and glass. Outside, angled concrete walls imprinted with wood-grain textures visually break up the monolithic boxcar form of the main structure and support a triangular porch that juts out over the hill. Because the building is set into the hill — its lower half buried on one side and fully exposed to northern light on the other — and because of its low profile, it seems gently integrated into the landscape. It is a blessed departure from the kind of showy architectural statements many art museums have been prone to in recent years.
12:00 noon – leave for North Adams

sign up for a box lunch for additional $$$ at Lickety Splits or bring your own.

1:30 pm – MASS MoCA tour of Sol LeWitt exhibition with expert Kim Carlino, University Gallery’s Education assistant/coordinator

Sol LeWitt was born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1928, and attended Syracuse University. After serving in the Korean War as a graphic artist, he moved, in 1953, to New York, where he worked as a draftsman for the architect I. M. Pei came into prominence in the 1960s, termed his work conceptual art, emphasizing that the idea or concept that animates each work is its most important aspect. He is probably the artist most often linked with the conceptual art movement. Reflecting his study of mathematics, LeWitt reduced the contents of his art to the most basic shapes, colors, and lines, creating modular cubes and grid structures, geometric “wall drawings,” and serial graphics. Sol LeWitt, one of the most prominent American artists of the later 20th century, died on April 8, 2007 in New York City.

Sol LeWitt: A Wall Drawing Retrospective consists of one hundred works—covering nearly an acre of wall surface—that LeWitt created from 1968 to 2007. The works in the retrospective are on loan from numerous private and public collections worldwide, including the Yale University Art Gallery, to which LeWitt donated a number of wall drawings.

Conceived by the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, in collaboration with the artist before his death in April 2007, the project has been undertaken by the Gallery, MASS MoCA, and the Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts. The installation remains on view for twenty-five years, occupying a 27,000-square-foot historic mill building in the heart of MASS MoCA’s campus. The three-story building has been extensively reworked for this exhibition by architects Bruner/Cott and Associates including a complex sequence of new interior walls designed in close collaboration with LeWitt himself.
3:30 pm – docent guided tour of MASS MoCA’s exhibitions

Badlands: New Horizons in Landscape
Anselm Kiefer: Sculpture and Paintings
Eastern Standard: Western Artists in China

5:00 pm – departure from North Adams
Approx arrival time in Northampton 6:00 pm; in Amherst 6:30 pm

Soweto Gospel Choir

Every now and then a group comes along with the rare ability to transcend cultural boundaries and connect diverse audiences through the power of music. The Soweto Gospel Choir is such a troupe. This glorious 25-member choir sold out the Concert Hall three years ago and returns again to perform its inspirational blend of tribal, traditional, and popular African gospel music in eight different languages. Earthy rhythms, rich harmonies, and charismatic a cappella delivery combine to uplift the soul and give voice to South Africa’s hopes for a bright future.

Thursday, December 4
Concert Hall 10:00 am
$6 students, $8 adults

Avery Sharpe Trio

Honesty. Clarity. Dignity. These are the words that come to mind when you hear the music of bassist-composer Avery Sharpe. A deeply rhythmic bassist, Avery Sharpe is a musician of profound imagination and sophistication. In an age of ephemeral pop stars and flavor-of-the-month trends, Sharpe is a reminder of the lasting value of steadfast dedication and personal integrity. He brings it all together for an unparalleled evening of sonic delights at the Top of Campus Marriott Center.

Avery Sharpe
Music samples

Friday, November 21
Top of Campus: Marriott Center 8:00 pm
$15; Five College Students and Youth 17 and under $7

The Future of the Image

“The Future of the Image” is an attempt to understand the various temporalities of the image–historical, prophetic, diagnostic–by surveying the way the entire history of the image has been punctuated at various points by the figure of the animal.

Departing from Jacques Ranciere’s recent book by this title, the lecture examines not only some possible and probable futures for image technologies, but also the way futures
as such are constituted by image-making.

WJT Mitchell is professor of English and Art History at the University of Chicago. He is editor of the interdisciplinary journal, Critical Inquiry, a quarterly devoted to critical theory in the arts and human sciences. A scholar and theorist of media, visual art, and literature, Mitchell is associated with the emergent fields of visual culture and iconology. He is known especially for his work on the relations of visual and verbal representations in the context of social and political issues.

This event has been made possible by the University Gallery and the UMass English Department in collaboration with the following entities:

Art History and English at Amherst College, Five Colleges, Inc., Humanities Program at Hampshire College, English at Mount Holyoke College, Art at Smith College, and Art History, English, German and Scandinavian Studies, and the Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Thursday, November 13, 2008: 5:30-6:30 PM
University Gallery
Free and open to the public

Of People and Places

This exhibition brings together for the first time the work of seven internationally renowned artists working in the field of photography, including:

YTO BARRADA (France and Morocco)
RINEKE DIJKSTRA (The Netherlands)
CUNY JANSSEN (The Netherlands)
AN-MY LE (born in Vietnam, currently living in the US)

It combines work by young, emerging artists with work by those who are more internationally renowned. Works by these artists have been exhibited previously at such major museums as the Victoria and Albert, London; the Stedelijk, Amsterdam; Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Jeu de Paume, Paris; Sprengel Museum, Hannover; and Museum Folkwang Essen. For several, this will be their premiere museum exhibition in the US.

Their images are very personal diaries of a place, exploring the evolving relationship between people and nature, rural and urban, old and new, timelessness and change, natural and artificial. It is the balance between these contrasts that lends these bodies of work a highly contemplative feel. The format of the exhibition will constitute a series of narratives or extended essays by each artist, which resonate and connect with one another. Singular characteristics in certain of these individual pictures, as well as obscure connections between contrastive identities and disjunctive moments, engender a sense of surprise and discovery. For example, Cuny Jansen travels to Amami-Oshima Island, Japan, to produce beautifully printed portraits of young people seen against a virgin landscape, encouraging an optimistic reading of the enduring truths of survival and beauty. John Riddy juxtaposes the natural beauty of Mount Fuji against the indications of an urbanized modern Japanese town. Clare Richardson is drawn to an area of Transylvania through her interest in farming and the mythic potential of unspoiled nature, in particular the narratives and folklore associated with the forest. Rineke Dijkstra presents portraits of schoolchildren and adolescents in city parks in Europe, China, and the US, positioning her subjects in almost Eden-like surroundings, looking back to the tradition of landscape painting. Joel Sternfeld’s photographs are grand and epic in scope, recording a New England landscape at different times of the year and depicting the painterly and expressive changes of the seasons from the lush verdant green of springtime to the snowy expanses of winter. An-My Le explores a quarry along the Hudson River in New York where trap rock has been mined for over a century, returning repeatedly and choosing a range of times of day and weather conditions to record the site and its activities. Yto Barrada brings together a series of photographs to examine the static and transitory life of Tangier, Morocco ñ the border city 13 km from Europe across the Strait of Gibraltar — at once symbolic, physical, historical and intimately personal.

Wednesday, September 24 – Sunday, December 14
University Gallery
Free and open to the public.