Conversations with Sculptures: The Trisha Brown Dance Company

July 27, 2014 - 12:30pm

Spanish Dance (c) Agathe Pouponey, 2008

A co-presentation with

Performances at 12:30 pm and 3:30 pm

Today's forecast predicts scattered showers; please dress appropriately. In the event of a storm, we will pause the performance and bring everyone in until it is safe to resume.

Tickets are still available for the 3:30 performance. The Alverno box office will be open at Lynden an hour prior to the performance. Please park at the Brown Deer Park & Ride and take the shuttle (more info below).

Tickets available at

Parking: The Lynden parking lot will be reserved for shuttle drop-off and drivers with disabilities. Please park at the Park & Ride located just to the west of the Brown Deer Road exit of I-43. A free shuttle bus will run between the Park & Ride and Lynden beginning at 11:30 am for the 12:30 pm show, and beginning at 2:30 pm for the 3:30 pm show. If you require parking onsite, please contact the Alverno box office so that we can reserve a space for you.

For a complete list of related events, see below.

The Lynden Sculpture Garden and Alverno Presents are delighted to offer a program of early works by choreographer Trisha Brown, performed by the Trisha Brown Dance Company in the resonant setting of the Lynden Sculpture Garden.

Among the "early works" are the seminal pedestrian pieces of the '60s and '70s, often created to be performed in unconventional environments outdoors and in daylight. We see this as an opportunity to stage a series of conversations between the sculptures at Lynden (most created in the '60s and the '70s, and by artists who occupied the same creative milieux as Brown and often knew her), and Brown's choreography. More than a recreation of past work, this is a chance to expand our understanding of the impulses and concerns that spurred artists across different disciplines--in that heady transdisciplinary era--to make the work they did; to bring the permanent (though not unchanged) sculpture and ephemeral dance into dialogue almost half a century later. It also allows us to reconsider individual works in the Lynden collection--Mark di Suvero's Lover (1971-73), Forrest Myers's Quartet (1967/2013), Linda Howard's Sky Fence (1976), Tony Smith's The Wandering Rocks (1967-69), Isaac Witkin's Kumo (1970)--and the spaces between them, as we see specific dances performed in and around them: Figure 8 (1974), Spiral (1974), Group Primary Accumulation (1973), Raft Piece (1973), Spanish Dance (1973), Sticks (1973), Accumulation (1971) and Leaning Duets I and II (1970, 1971) .

Trisha Brown moved to New York in 1961, around the time that many of the sculptors who were to become involved in the Park Place Gallery were converging on the city. When the influential exhibition Primary Structures opened at the Jewish Museum in 1966, Brown was immersed in what was to become the post-modern phenomena of Judson Dance Theater; choreographers were redefining performance just as artists were redefining sculpture, and they were often doing it together. When Brown formed her company in 1970, she was making dances in response to the terrain of her adoptive Soho, surrounded by visual artists in low-rent studios. While Brown, in her pioneering pure-dance experiments, was taking the "everyday movement of our pedestrian lives and [giving] it back to us new" (Alistair Macaulay), sculptors like di Suvero and Myers were repurposing the I-beams that surrounded them on the city's construction sites and building monumental works that challenged our sense of scale and geometry.

Though it would be easy to say that Brown, along with like-minded colleagues, was pushing the limits of choreography and thereby changing modern dance forever, while visual artists like Donald Judd were eschewing the representational and exploring manufacturing processes that would permanently alter our idea of sculpture, these movements did not happen in isolation, or along parallel tracks that failed to come into contact. Trisha Brown has a long history of collaborating with visual artists, including Robert Rauschenberg, Donald Judd and Elizabeth Murray. And when her first fully developed cycle of work, Unstable Molecular Structures, concluded in 1983 with Set and Reset, a collaboration with Rauschenberg and Laurie Anderson, it reflected her persistent interest in geometry, built structures, and physical forces like gravity--a series of concerns that were familiar to her contemporaries in the visual arts.

The performances of the Trisha Brown Dance Company are supported in part by the Wisconsin Arts Board, Arts Midwest, the Meyer & Norma Ragir Foundation, and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation's Joseph R. Pabst Fund.

Related Events

Sunday, July 6, 2014 - 3-3:20 pm: Contact (meet at Mark di Suvero's Lover)
Sunday, July 13, 2014 - 1-1:20 pm and 3-3:20 pm: Sensing (meet at Forrest Myers's Quartet)
Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 3-3:20 pm: Gravity (meet at Linda Howard's Sky Fence)
Free to members; to anyone with a ticket to a Trisha Brown performance; or with admission to the sculpture garden (there is no admission fee on July 13).
Throughout the month of July visitors are invited to drop in for a series of informal Conversations with Sculptures as we anticipate the arrival of Trisha Brown Dance Company on July 27. Each week, Lynden Artist-in-Residence Kim Miller and recent MIAD graduate Jenna Knapp will position themselves at a different sculpture and offer a series of movement prompts and exercises designed to introduce you to Trisha Brown's approach to movement--particularly the pedestrian movement that is a hallmark of the "Early Works" that will be performed at Lynden--and the way we use our bodies in motion to explore and understand monumental sculpture. Whether your interest is in dance, sculpture, or the transdisciplinary artistic currents of the '60s and '70s--when both the dances and the sculptures were made--you can participate in these casual conversations with sculptures at Lynden. Suitable for all ages, no experience necessary.

Saturday, July 26, 2014 - 3:30-5 pm (preceding the opening of Inside/Outside: Nancy Popp + Paul Druecke from 5 to 8 pm).
Prepare yourself for the arrival of the Trisha Brown Dance Company by joining an expansive, interactive, ambulatory conversation hosted by dancer/choreographers Elizabeth Johnson and Cate Deicher and artists Nicholas Frank, Paul Druecke, Nancy Popp and Jenna Knapp, among others. We'll consider Brown's early work in the context of Lynden's monumental sculptures--products of the same era--and then bring the conversation up to the present by looking at Druecke's and Popp's approaches to sculpture and performance (Popp will be performing the latest iteration of Untitled (Street Performances) during the event.

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