Jupiter Artland’s summer exhibition is dedicated to the work of choreographer and artist Trisha Brown (1936 – 2017), whose enduring legacy continues to be a source of joy and fascination for the generation of artists who followed in her footsteps. Her 40-year plus career was characterized by sensuousness, analytical structure and a feeling akin to flying.
Combining physical virtuosity with the inquiring mind of a scientist, her early works did indeed defy gravity, with Brown inventing equipment allowing performances such as Man Walking Down the Side of a Building (1970) and Walking on the Wall (1971), which saw dancer’s cantilevered against New York high-rise buildings and gallery walls. With these works, the city and landscape became Brown’s laboratory as she engineered ideas that expanded the possibilities of movement for both dancers and audiences alike.
This presentation across Jupiter Artland’s gallery spaces focuses on Brown’s moving-image archive, traversing Brown’s early practice, placing her highly organised Accumulation dances in relation to the physical abandon she displays in Watermotor (1978), a work Brown described as ‘unpredictable, personal, articulate, dense, changeful, wild assed.’
The creator of one ballet, six operas and almost 100 choreographies, the exhibition showcases her move toward large-scale productions in the late 1970s, including Glacial Decoy (1979), with set design by Robert Rauschenberg; Set and Reset (1983) with a score by Laurie Anderson and costumes by Rauschenberg; and her production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (1988). The exhibition also includes rare interview footage that provides insight into Brown’s evolving ideas, tracking her development of a natural, abstract movement language, one of her most important and lasting contributions to international contemporary dance.