Nick Mauss “Transmissions”

The Whitney Museum of American Art

poster for Nick Mauss “Transmissions”

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For his first solo museum show in the United States, artist Nick Mauss (b. 1980) will present Transmissions, an exhibition conceived for the Whitney, which explores the reciprocal relationship of modernist ballet and the avant-garde in New York from the 1930s through the 1950s. The exhibition—features daily dance performances in the Whitney’s eighth-floor Hurst Family Galleries.

Mauss’s exhibition conjures a revisionist portrait of New York and its creative communities, through an interwoven presentation of paintings, photographs, sketches, sculptures, costumes, danced gestures, anecdotes, and films, including many works from the Whitney’s own collection. Mauss hones in on a moment of synergy between art and dance in New York’s history that saw the introduction of ballet to a popular audience in America, and was inflected by transatlantic developments in modern dance, painting, photography, fashion, music, and poetry. The exhibition features works by George Platt Lynes, Pavel Tchelitchew, Paul Cadmus, Dorothea Tanning, Elie Nadelman, and Carl Van Vechten, among others. Some of the works depict protagonists closely associated with the socially entwined worlds of ballet and art, including Ruth Page, George Balanchine, and Lincoln Kirstein, while also bringing attention to well- and lesser-known dancers such as Alicia Markova, Janet Collins, Diana Adams, Hernan Baldrich, and Hugh Laing, to name just a few. Mauss stages all of these materials in a precisely designed installation, alongside works of his own as well as wall texts that shed light on these figures and their conjoined histories.

For the daily performances in the exhibition, Mauss cast a group of dancers with divergent relationships to ballet and collaborated with them to create a new work as an interpretative reaction to the artworks and archival materials in the exhibition. Performances, which feature four dancers, will take place daily from 12 to 4 pm, and additionally on Friday evenings from 6 to 10 pm.

This exhibition is organized by Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, and Elisabeth Sussman, Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, with Greta Hartenstein, senior curatorial assistant, and Allie Tepper, curatorial project assistant.



from March 16, 2018 to May 14, 2018
Performances featuring four dancers take place daily 12 to 4 pm, and on Friday evenings from 6 to 10 pm.


Nick Mauss

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