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Three Getty Research Institute Conferences Showcase the Work of 1960s Multimedia Artists

April 4, 2001

Los Angeles--Three Getty Research Institute conferences this spring focus on pioneering artists of the 1960s who refused to be constrained by the barriers between artistic media. Together, the conferences--featuring 63 scholars, artists, and performers--will bring to Los Angeles some of today's most innovative thinking about postwar art and the American avant-garde.

Media Pop on April 6-7, 2001 explores the complex relation of Pop art to the mass media. The conference will broaden the definition of Pop art by addressing an expanded field of media activities, rigorously examining the interdependencies between art and the visual media of mechanical reproduction. Cosponsored by UC Irvine and UCLA, it includes keynote artist panelists Vija Celmins, Dennis Hopper, and Ed Ruscha.

Harry Smith: The Avant-Garde in the American Vernacular on April 20-21, 2001 assesses the significance of Smith's work as a filmmaker, painter, and musicologist and his impact on American culture. This collaboration with the Harry Smith Archives features a screening of Smith's films and a concert featuring Robert Lockwood Jr., Geoff Muldaur, and the Handsome Family inspired by Smith's seminal 1952 recording, Anthology of American Folk Music. It coincides with the Harry Smith Project, a concert on April 25 and 26 at UCLA.

The Art of David Tudor: Indeterminacy and Performance in Postwar Culture on May 17-19, 2001 examines the work of pianist and composer David Tudor, his working methods, collaborations, and relation to the postwar American and European avant-garde. The symposium and special events, including the installation of the Rainforest IV sound environment, a Tudor panel, and two concerts, are cosponsored by the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) School of Music.

Thomas Crow, director of the Getty Research Institute since July 2000, said, "The Research Institute is devoted to the advanced study of the visual arts among the most able scholars, critics, curators, and practicing artists, but it does not regard that activity as divorced from either an awareness of other media or a larger public sphere, where new ideas must find their ultimate destination." The three conferences this spring will further the Research Institute's objective of advancing understanding of the visual arts by breaking down barriers between differing cultural constituencies and different kinds of cultural knowledge.

The conferences reflect the Research Institute's current scholar year theme of "Reproductions and Originals" by looking at how technologies of mechanical reproduction were enlisted by avant-garde artists, often to transform American vernacular idioms into extraordinary works of art.


Note: Admission to all events is free unless otherwise noted.

Media Pop
This two-day national conference examines the relationship between Pop art and the media in the 1960s, including film, photography, and video. It features a keynote artists panel and three scholar sessions. Hosted by the Getty Research Institute in collaboration with UC Irvine and UCLA. Registration required; call 310-440-7300. Friday, April 6, 1-3:45 p.m. and Saturday, April 7, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center

Media Pop Artists Panel
Vija Celmins, Dennis Hopper, and Ed Ruscha, leading figures in the Los Angeles art world of the 1960s, take part in a keynote panel discussion moderated by Cecile Whiting, professor of art history at UCLA, in conjunction with the Media Pop conference. Note: This event requires a separate reservation; call 310-440-7300. Friday, April 6, 7:30 p.m. Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center

Harry Smith: The Avant-Garde in the American Vernacular
This two-day symposium, the first interdisciplinary event to focus on the work and legacy of American avant-garde filmmaker, painter, and musicologist Harry Smith, features lectures, discussions, and multimedia presentations. Hosted by the Getty Research Institute and the Harry Smith Archives. Registration required; call 310-440-7300. Friday, April 20, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center

Harry Smith Film Screening
This evening of films by Harry Smith, regarded as one of the leading experimental filmmakers of the 20th century, is presented in conjunction with the Harry Smith symposium. Selections draw from all aspects of his career, from the hand-painted Early Abstractions to Late Superimpositionsmultilayered autobiographical images ranging from New York to the Kiowa reservation in Oklahomaand rare and unseen works from the Harry Smith Archives. Reservations required; call 310-440-7300. Friday, April 20, 7:30 p.m. Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center

Harry Smith Concert
The Harry Smith Symposium concludes with a musical tribute to Smith's groundbreaking 1952 recording, Anthology of American Folk Music, the primary inspiration for the folk revival of the 1960s. Featured performers include Robert Lockwood, Jr., Geoff Muldaur, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, and the Handsome Family--representing three successive generations of artists influenced by the Anthology. For tickets ($30; limited student tickets $25) call Tickets L.A. at 323-655-TKTS. Saturday, April 21, 7:30 p.m. Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center

Hall Willner's "Harry Smith Project" Concert at UCLA
In conjunction with the Harry Smith symposium and related events, UCLA presents an all-star lineup of musicians in a radical reinterpretation of Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music, including Beck, Elvis Costello, Marianne Faithfull, Richard Thompson, T. Bone Burnett, The Folksmen, Mary Margaret O'Hara, and many others. For tickets ($70, $50, $30, and $15 for UCLA students with valid ID) call 310-825-2101. Wednesday April 25 and Thursday, April 26, 8 p.m. Royce Hall, UCLA

The Art of David Tudor: Indeterminacy and Performance in Postwar Culture
This symposium brings together an international group of scholars, composers, artists, and art historians to examine the work of the pianist and composer David Tudor (1926-1996), pioneer of American experimentalism. The Getty Research Institute's Tudor collections serve as a point of departure. Cosponsored by the Research Institute and the CalArts School of Music. Registration required; call 310-440-7300. Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Museum Lecture Hall, Getty Center

David Tudor Symposium Opening Events at CalArts
Two special events at CalArts celebrate the spirit and time of David Tudor: Rainforest IV, a sound sculpture environment conceived by Tudor and realized by Composers Inside Electronics, a group of CalArts performers and composers, and guest artists; and a "Panel of David Tudor's Friends and Collaborators" (Billy Kluver, Jackie Monnier, Gordon Mumma, Pauline Oliveros, Christian Wolff, and moderator Jean Rigg). For more information call CalArts at 661-253-7800 or 818-362-2315 Thursday, May 17, 7-10:30 p.m. (performance) and 8-9:30 p.m. (panel) CalArts

Two Concerts Celebrating the Spirit of the David Tudor Archives

Rarely heard works by important musical mavericks and pioneers for pianos, electronics, and performance "actions" are presented in newly created realizations by performers/composers Vicki Ray and David Rosenboom, pianists, and Ron Kuivila and Mark Trayle, electronics musicians. Reservations required; call 310-440-7300. Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center

Program 1 - Action Piece 1, combining materials drawn from Eight Piano Transcriptions for David Tudor and Incidental Music - Five Piano Pieces by George Brecht, informed by various notes and correspondence between Brecht and Tudor; Constants IVa and IVb by Terry Jennings; For Two Pianos, I, II, and III by Michael von Biel; and Dialects by David Tudor. Friday, May 18, 8 p.m.

Program 2 - Untitled by David Tudor; A Book of Music, Two Prepared Pianos by John Cage; Nature Pieces for Piano, I, II, III, IV, & V by Morton Feldman; and Helix 5 [for variable sound producing means] by Jerry Hunt; Action Piece 2, drawn from Piano Piece(s) for David Tudor Nos. 1, 2, & 3 by La Monte Young. Saturday, May 19, 8 p.m.

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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

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