Lisa Alvarado “Sound Talisman”

Bridget Donahue

poster for Lisa Alvarado “Sound Talisman”

This event has ended.

Bridget Donahue presents Sound Talisman, the first New York solo exhibition by Lisa Alvarado. Her exhibition takes the form of a visual and sonic assemblage composed of painted banners hung from the ceiling alongside a site-specific sound piece and schedule of musical performances (see full schedule below).

Sound Talisman comes out of Alvarado’s active role within the experimental band, Natural Information Society. When she joined the ensemble in 2010, Alvarado began making paintings that function as moveable sets. She refers to the series of paintings as “Traditional Objects”, a phrase that reveals her interest in the way ritual allows fine art to enter into the realm of performance and ceremony. The paintings travel internationally with the band which is integral not only to the performance but to the works’ identity. The double-sided banners present a painting on one-side, made with homemade stencils and acrylic paint. Alvarado’s geometric motifs and use of vibrant colors are made knowing they will be on stage, under lights and at a distance from viewers. The bold, legible composition also takes inspiration from Mexican textile designs, a tradition too often omitted from art history, raided and deported.

Lisa Alvarado (b. 1982, San Antonio) is an artist and performer based in Chicago. Alvarado plays harmonium in the experimental band Natural Information Society comprised of multiple performers and led by multi-instrumentalist Joshua Abrams. She has exhibited most recently in the group exhibition “The Freedom Principle: Experiments in Art and Music, 1965 To Now” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and The Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, and in group exhibitions at the Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts, The Logan Center of the Arts at The University of Chicago, and in a solo presentation at the Soccer Club Club. Alvarado performed with The Black Monks of Mississippi and Theaster Gates in Documenta 13. In addition to releasing albums through Drag City and Eremite Records, Natural Information Society has performed in numerous venues including the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Portugal; Fylkingen, Stockholm; Cafe Oto, London; Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago; Mona Bismarck Center, Paris; as well as collaborating on a video and play with Simon Starling included in an exhibition at Japan Society, New York.

For Alvarado and Natural Information Society, the paintings serve as mandalas, a visual focus point, that allows an audience to focus their gaze amidst waves of sound. She considers the music and paintings interdependent and the exhibition will include an ambient soundtrack during regular gallery hours as well as a schedule of performances as listed below:

Sunday, March 26: Lisa Alvarado, Joshua Abrams, Chad Taylor (short performance during the opening reception)

Wednesday, March 29: White Magic

Wednesday, April 19: William Parker

Sunday, April 23: Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society + Carlos Blackburn will open with a reading

Monday, May 8: Angelica Sanchez, Gerald Cleaver, Joshua Abrams

Wednesday, May 10: Battle Trance

All performances to start at 7:30PM



from March 26, 2017 to May 21, 2017

Opening Reception on 2017-03-26 from 19:00 to 21:00


Lisa Alvarado

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