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The Art and Theater of Tadeusz Kantor

09 listopada, 2008

The Art and Theater of Tadeusz Kantor opens with a presentation of Kantor\'s sculpture, The Desk (1975) as one of the major works in The Jewish Museum\'s exhibition, Theaters of Memory: Art and the Holocaust. The Desk – which was created in connection with The Dead Class performance – is presented, in this exhibition curated by Norman Kleeblatt, alongside works by Anselm Kiefer, Christian Boltanski, and George Segal.

Recently purchased by The Jewish Museum, it is the first of Kantor\'s works to enter a major American museum collection.
The Art and Theater of Tadeusz Kantor opens with a presentation of Kantor\'s sculpture, The Desk (1975) – which was created in connection with The Dead Class performance – one of the major works in the Jewish Museum\'s exhibition, curated by Norman Kleeblatt, Theaters of Memory: Art and the Holocaust, alongside works by Anselm Kiefer, Christian Boltanski, and George Segal. Recently purchased by The Jewish Museum, it is the first of Kantor\'s works to enter a major American museum collection.

The series continues with screenings, of filmed records of Tadeusz Kantor’s performances from his Theatre of Death phase. These will be projected in the Annex theater at La MaMa – the same space where between 1979 and 1991 each of the works was first presented to an American audience by La MaMa founder and director Ellen Stewart. Kantor, as a rule, appeared in his performances, on stage along with the actors, and his work is almost inconceivable without his presence, which makes their revival unlikely. This series of screenings thus presents a unique occasion to view original performances of Kantor’s work in an original space. It is likewise our homage to Stewart and her vision in bringing Kantor to America. All films will be shown in Polish with English subtitles and introduced by specialists on Kantor\'s work. Documents related to Kantor from the La MaMa archives will also be on view.

The Art and Theater of Tadeusz Kantor will continue on January 26, 2009, with a one-day International Conference at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, CUNY Graduate Center, where Kantor’s work as both theater and visual artist will be discussed by specialists.

TADEUSZ KANTOR (1915-1990) was undoubtedly one of the greatest artists of the 20th century – a “total artist,” as he used to say, and with good reason, so great was his versatility. It is thus very risky to divide his output into individual disciplines. A painter, stage designer, poet, actor, and happener, he made a name for himself as a man of theater, but even in this domain he remained first and foremost a painter who thought with images and used actors and props instead of paints. His Cricot 2 Theatre performances, beginning with Dead Class (1975), were hailed as true masterpieces.

Special thanks to the Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA in Krakow, and to Polish Television – TVP S.A. for additional support.

...an icon of experimentalist drama – Mel Gussow, New York Times

Kantor is to Polish art what Joseph Beuys was to German art, what Andy Warhol was to American art. He created a unique strain of theatre, was an active participant in the revolutions of the neo-avant-garde, a highly original theoretician, an innovator strongly grounded in tradition, an anti-painterly painter, a happener-heretic, and an ironic conceptualist… Apart from that, Kantor was an untiring animator of artistic life in post-warPoland, one could even say, one of its chief motivating forces. – Jaroslaw Suhan, director of Museum of Art in Lodz, curator of Tadeusz Kantor, 

Interior of Imagination, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw 2005

The Jewish Museum
presents
TADEUSZ KANTOR, THE DESK (1975)
in Theaters of Memory: Art and the Holocaust

NOVEMBER 9, 2008 – FEBRUARY 1, 2009
The Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street,
New York, NY 10128
Hours: Sat.-Wed. 11-5:45, Thu. 11-8
Admission: $12 adults, $10 seniors, $ 7.50 students, free: children, members, free Sats.
Tel. 212.423.3200

Polish Cultural Institute and La MaMa E.T.C.
present
SCREENINGS: TADEUSZ KANTOR’S “THEATRE OF DEATH”

NOVEMBER 10-16, 2008, 7:30 PM
La MaMa E.T.C., The Annex
74 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003
Admission: $10, $8 students,
All Kantor Pass $40. Tel. 212.475.7710