If I am right to think this is the greatest creation of dance theater so far this century, we’re fortunate that FOUR QUARTETS will travel to other stages. I long to become more deeply acquainted with the many layers of its stage poetry. — Alastair Macaulay
In great demand and at the height of her powers, Pam Tanowitz creates work that bridges contemporary dance and ballet. Her FOUR QUARTETS—the most acclaimed dance work of the past two decades—is a collaboration with Brice Marden, who created the set images, and composer Kaija Saariaho.
The title refers to T. S. Eliot’s poetry cycle, which provided the inspiration and text for the work, read in performance by Kathleen Chalfant.
This weekend, CAP UCLA presents two performances of FOUR QUARTETS at Royce Hall. Dancers include Kara Chan, Jason Collins, Dylan Crossman, Christine Flores, ZacharyGonder, Lindsey Jones, Victor Lozano, Maile Okamura, and Melissa Toogood.
The scenic and lighting design is by Clifton Taylor, the costume design by Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung, and the sound design by Jean-Baptiste Barriére. Saariaho’s music will be performed by The Knights.
We felt that this was very exciting. That this film could be something very new. But we couldn’t judge. Because the script didn’t say so much. —Agneta Ekmanner, actor in Duet forCannibals*
On Friday, two UCLA institutions—the Film and Television Archive and the Library SpecialCollections—will screen the 2K restoration of Susan Sontag’s directorial debut DUET FORCANNIBALS and present a selection of the Susan Sontag Papers.
Histories of modernism—in which Jessica Dismorr (1885–1939) has been accorded an inconspicuous position—have written out or dismissed the active participation of women. As visibly rendered in Alfred Barr’s well-known flow chart of 1936, which maps art production from 1890 to 1935, canonical traditions have been founded and sustained on masculine myths of artistic creativity. Women artists neither figure in the diagram, nor do they have a substantial presence in the massive literature on modernist art; modernism has not been structured to accept an amalgamation of the roles of “woman” and professional artist. Women’s art has been seen as “other,” lacking the signs that the masculinist modernist institutions found in the art of men. These obstacles have never stopped women producing in any of the movements or moments of twentieth-century modernism and beyond. They have, however, progressively ensured the invisibility of women artists in the consolidated narrative texts and celebratory exhibitions that canonized the history of modern art…
Apart from the brief catalogs that accompanied the retrospective exhibitions of her work in the 1960s and 1970s, Dismorr has never formed the predominant subject or chapter of any book or exhibition. Her name has been mentioned in connection with the Rhythm and Vorticist groups, in collective monographs on women artists and in other books and articles noticeably attempting to restore the normally disproportionately represented gender balance. More often, however, references to her name merely pay lip-service to an artist about whom little is documented… In fact, Dismorr seems to have only survived artistic obscurity due to her artistic “validation” as a member of the Vorticist circle and her subsequent, albeit marginal, position within histories of Vorticism. — Catherine ElizabethHeathcock*
The exhibition RADICAL WOMEN—JESSICA DISMORR AND HER CONTEMPORARIES “explores how Dismorr—an artist at the forefront of the avant-garde in Britain—and her female contemporaries engaged with modernist literature and radical politics through their art, including their contributions to campaigns for women’s suffrage and the anti-fascist organizations of the 1930s.”**
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog by curator Alicia Foster:
Dismorr was privileged to work and exhibit alongside some of the most exciting female artists of the time, includingBarbara Hepworth and Winifred Nicholson, to lesser-known figures such as Dorothy Shakespear, Anne Estelle Rice, and Helen Saunders. Bringing a web of fascinating connections to light for the first time, this publication provides a fresh interpretation of a pioneering period and the role women played within it.
*Catherine Elizabeth Heathcock, from the introduction to her 1999 University of Birmingham thesis Jessica Dismorr (1885–1939): Artist, Writer, Vorticist.
Barr’s flow-chart was reproduced on the front cover of Alfred H. Barr, Cubism and Abstract Art (New York: Museumof Modern Art, 1936; reprinted Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986).
Radical Women: Jessica Dismorr and Her Contemporaries, Pallant House Gallery, November 2, 2019–February 23, 2020, from top: Jessica Dismorr, Self-Portrait, circa 1928, oil on board, private collection; Betty Rea, Mother and Child, 1934, Caen stone, private collection; Paule Vézelay, Paule Vézelay, circa 1927–1929, oil on canvas, National PortraitGallery; Helen Saunders, Untitled (Female Figures) , circa 1913, ink and watercolor, CourtauldGallery, London; Anne Estelle Rice, Self-Portrait, circa 1909–10, oil on board; EdithRimmington, Family Tree, 1937, photomontage with collage and gouache, Murray FamilyCollection; Jessica Dismorr, Izidora, Illustration in Rhythm, vol. 1, no. 2, Autumn 1911, private collection; Jessica Dismorr, Landscape with Figures, circa 1911–12, oil on panel, MuseumsSheffield; Alicia Foster, Radical Women: Jessica Dismorr and Her Contemporaries exhibition catalog (Lund Humphries, 2019), cover image Jessica Dismorr, Abstract Composition (detail), circa 1915, oil on wood, Tate, London. Images courtesy and @ the artists, their estates, the publisher, the curator, and Pallant House Gallery.