In direct opposition to many who paint the 1950s in America as a golden age for the country, the decade was a time of deep anxiety and simmering fear that bubbled up in many expected and unexpected areas.
The arts were a perfect place for these …
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The arts were a perfect place for these feelings to be expressed, and writer Samuel Beckett and painter Clyfford Still were both pioneers in expressing the abstract in their mediums.
The Arvada Center will be hosting a discussion about these two artists and the places they intersect during Samuel Beckett & Clyfford Still: Uncommon Perspectives in the Late 1950s. The event will feature a live discussion and then reading of Beckett’s radio play “Embers.”
The event will be at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 14, at the Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd. It is presented in partnership with the Clyfford Still Museum in support of its exhibition 1959: The Albright-Knox Art Gallery Exhibition Recreated.
“The Arvada Center is looking at ways for the different arts to collaborative, and this partnership is really exciting,” said Amanda Giguere, Ph.D., a lecturer from the CU Boulder, Department of Theatre and Dance. “How the arts talk to each other is really interesting, and this is a great way to look at that.”
The evening will kick off with a talk lead by Giguere, which will provide context and information on the late 1950s. She said the discussion will help to explain why so many artists were exploring different aspects of the anxieties of the time.
Giguere will also cover Beckett’s impact on the theater, his resonance with other artistic experiments in visual arts, music, and dance.
Then comes a reading of Embers,” directed by Laura Jones and performed by Robert Michael Sander (Henry) and Kate Berry (Ada).
“Even though it’s a radio play, there is something to seeing it live - the actors have these facial expressions and gestures they bring to the performance,” Jones said. “It’s a stage reading, not a staged reading.”
According to Jones, both Beckett and Still were explorers of their own mindscapes, and this internal nature in their work compliments each other.
“People will find this a low-key sampler of these artists,” she said. “It takes audience participation, but on a different level than people might expect.”
For Giguere, the works of these two men reflects perfectly contemporary times and experiences.
“I see this as a way of understanding our time,” she said. “We live in an age with so much information that there is a definite appeal for art that asks us to minimalize.”
Tickets are $10-$15. For more information and tickets, call 720-898-7200.
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